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Thread: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

  1. #1646
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Pannage has started in the New Forest From https://www.thenewforest.co.uk/explo...nd-nature/pigs
    Pannage is the practice of releasing domestic pigs into a forest (also known as ‘Common of mast’), and goes all the way back to the time of William the Conqueror, who founded The New Forest in 1079.
    The pigs are released onto the forest to eat fallen acorns, beechmast, chestnuts and other nuts; green acorns in particular are poisonous to the New Forest ponies and cattle which roam the forest the majority of the year.
    In 2022, pannage starts on Monday 19 September.
    Up to 600 pigs and piglets will work their way through the forest eating the acorns and nuts from the forest floor. It is the only time of year that the pigs are allowed to ‘roam’ the open forest,...
    More detail in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pannage

    Nick

  2. #1647
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    In rural Alaska, cost of a tough but good life keeps rising
    Traditional subsistence practices curtailed by skyrocketing prices for fuel and other staples.


    Emily Schwing
    Special to The Washington Post


    NOATAK, Alaska — Half a dozen women gather to play Rummikub most summer evenings in a small house on a hill that delivers a southward view of this small Arctic village. There’s lots of laughter and teasing, a nice reprieve from some of the challenges of life in rural Alaska.


    In late July, one conversation settled on whether the group could take a weekend boat trip downriver to a place called Sisualik, which means “place that has beluga whales” in the Inupiaq language and is a popular spot to camp, fish and pick berries that sometimes swell to the size of small grapes. The problem, however, was finding enough fuel to power the boat.


    In May and June, while other Americans were shouldering the burden of $5-per-gallon gas, residents in Noatak were paying $17.99 a gallon for unleaded and $12.99 for diesel — each about $5 more per gallon than the usual price. The village, which sits 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle, is home to about 570 people. The vast majority of them are Indigenous, and they rely heavily on fishing and hunting for their main food sources. At the only local store, beef steaks shipped in from the Lower 48 states can cost more than $100. A green pepper is priced at $6.59. Those goods and others, such as apples, diapers and butter, as well as diesel and unleaded gas, are all delivered by air.


    By mid-July, diesel had become unavailable in the village. The two tanks that store the community’s fuel can hold up to 24,000 gallons, but store employees said that the drums are never filled and that they’re never quite sure when the next delivery will arrive. The fuel — which villagers need to power boats, all-terrain vehicles and snow machines, as well as to heat homes — is delivered by air, and both tanks had run dry for at least the second time this year. Some residents cited mechanical issues with the delivery planes, while others blamed flight scheduling. The planes are limited, and airlines must make sure that a pilot is available and that the weather is safe for flying.


    Some people, including Della Luther, decided to find fuel on their own.


    “I went to Kotzebue to go get stove oil,” said Luther, 62, who works as a health aide at the local clinic. “Stove oil” is the diesel fuel used in oil-drip stoves for home heating. Luther said her son had the 15 gallons of gas she needed to travel about 70 miles downriver by boat to the larger hub community of Kotzebue, where she bought a 50-gallon drum of diesel for more than $8 per gallon. With the added weight in her boat, she had to buy an additional 21 gallons of unleaded gas to make the return trip to Noatak. Even so, she said it was a good deal.


    The gas station in Noatak is a wooden shed that stands alongside a row of metal shipping containers that hold extra dry goods across from the store. Normally, one or two customers might be waiting here to fill their four-wheelers. When fuel finally arrives, store employees said, the line sometimes stretches down the street and past the Noatak Friends Church, which had also run out of stove oil by the last Sunday in July.


    “Alappaa!” (“cold” in Inupiaq) Ricky Ashby exclaimed when he returned to his sister-in-law’s house after services that day. Wrapped in a blanket and settled into a sofa with a cup of coffee, Ashby, 67, a Nautaaq tribal elder and a devout Quaker, said it was difficult to concentrate on his morning prayers because the church was so chilly. Noatak is far enough north that even in late July, temperatures at night and into the early morning can dip into the 30s. On this particular Sunday, it was 43 degrees when Ashby unlocked the church door for services at 10 a.m. He said he remembered a much simpler time in this village.


    “When I was growing up, there was a building about 40 by 30 . And in the bottom and upstairs in the attic our whole supply of canned food for the winter,” he said. Ashby added that when he was young, goods and fuel were delivered twice a year by barge from Kotzebue. These days, he said, that much food is delivered by air every week.


    Noatak is fairly quiet on Sundays, which residents recognize as a day of rest. On the last Sunday in July, more than 30 boats were docked at the riverbank. That didn’t seem out of the ordinary until midday Monday, at the height of the fishing season. All day, chum salmon announced their arrival with chaotic splashing in the river, but the boats remained tied up, some with nets piled inside. On Tuesday afternoon, most of the boats still hadn’t moved — an unsettling sight in a town that depends so heavily on fishing as a main source of food. At the peak of summer, people also would normally be traveling upriver to cut and haul firewood. This fall, they should be heading out again by boat to hunt caribou, another dietary staple in a community that depends on a subsistence lifestyle.


    “It’s just that right now, we’ve got no fuel,” said Hannah Onalik, 67, a tribal elder. “That’s why are parked.”


    As Onalik talks, two diesel-powered electricity generators, twice the size of a dump truck, hum away at the river’s edge. For her, they’re a reminder of yet another challenge.


    “I’m worried. Am I going to have electricity next month? Is my freezer going to work?” she said. As the price of diesel rises, so does her electricity bill. And if her freezer isn’t working, her fish and fresh-picked berries may not last until winter.


    Onalik is the tribal council secretary and works as a clerk at the store. She’d like to retire, but she’s the only person in her four-member household with a full-time job. She said she makes $33,000 a year. “I’m going to have to move to Anchorage, where it’s easier,” she said. Because Onalik has a job, she doesn’t qualify for local energy assistance or food stamps from the state. Moving to Alaska’s urban center would be difficult, she said, because she has always lived in Noatak.


    “This is home,” she said. “Our food, our fish, our caribou — we would never get those in Anchorage,” which is nearly 600 miles to the southeast. “This is just home, no matter what.”


    She said a housing shortage in Noatak and the high cost of living have forced some people to move away. The list of reasons to leave may be long, but she also has a reason to stay: “Because, gosh, who would not love Noatak?” As she talked, her gaze moved north, toward a mostly untouched
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  3. #1648
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    That's a tough story to read. It seems to me that water transport of fuel would be much cheaper than air.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garret;[URL="tel:6732618"
    6732618[/URL]]That's a tough story to read. It seems to me that water transport of fuel would be much cheaper than air.
    Yes! Living in a tiny community of few hundred people on a remote village like that is really something else.
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

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  5. #1650
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Quote Originally Posted by Spin_Drift View Post
    Yes! Living in a tiny community of few hundred people on a remote village like that is really something else.
    My brother spent a few months on an island (St. Paul I think?) out in/near the Aleutians installing a wind turbine. Before the turbine, they ran diesel for power 24/7. With the turbine, they run the diesel for an hour or so morning & evening - during the peak use hours (cooking). They figured the payback on the turbine was under 2 years because of the high cost of diesel - as it's barged out to the island.

    One has to wonder how folks will adapt to higher energy prices. It's places like the village you mentioned that feel it first, but it'll grow & grow. I can't help but think there are better ways than how we're doing it now.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  6. #1651
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    What petting a dog can do for your brain

    [COLOR=var(--neutral-foreground-rest)]Sandee LaMotte - 5h ago
    [/COLOR]


    On one side of the room sits the cutest life-size stuffed animal you’ve ever seen. On the other side rests a real dog — same size, shape and even the same name as the stuffed version.


    You get to sit next to both of these fluffy friends and pet their fur. Guess which one will make your brain light up?


    If you guessed the real dog, you’re right. Stuffed animals, as cute and cuddly as they may be, just don’t supercharge our frontal cortex, the part of the brain overseeing how we think and feel, according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.


    “We chose to investigate the frontal cortex because this brain area is involved in several executive functions, such as attention, working memory, and problem-solving. But it is also involved in social and emotional processes,” said study lead author Rahel Marti, a doctoral student in the division of clinical psychology and animal-assisted interventions at the University of Basel in Switzerland, in an email


    Why is this finding important? It provides additional evidence that live human-animal therapy interactions may boost cognitive and emotional activity in the brain, Marti said.


    “If patients with deficits in motivation, attention, and socioemotional functioning show higher emotional involvement in activities connected to a dog, then such activities could increase the chance of learning and of achieving therapeutic aims,” she said.


    This latest study adds to existing research on the benefits of animal-assisted therapy in medically supervised neural rehabilitation for nervous system conditions, such as strokes, seizure disorders, brain trauma and infections.


    “This is an interesting, rigorously conducted study that provides new insight into associations between human-animal interaction and regional prefrontal brain activity in healthy adults,” said Dr. Tiffany Braley, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who has published research on the connection between pet ownership and cognitive health.


    “Although further work in larger samples of people with specific neurological conditions is needed, the current study could inform future research of animal-assisted interventions for neurorehabilitation by providing new data regarding the type, intensity, and frequency of animal interactions necessary to achieve desired physiological or clinical benefits,” said Braley, who was not involved in the new research.


    Researchers used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in the study, which is a portable brain scanner that provides flexibility since it’s functional in natural settings and not limited to a closed room in a lab. The technique measures brain activity via oxygen saturation of the blood in the brain.

    Closer the better

    The study team fitted each of 19 participants with the scanner and asked them to observe and interact with one of three live dogs: a Jack Russell terrier, a goldendoodle and a golden retriever. First, study participants watched the dog from across the room. Then the dog sat next to them. Finally, each person was allowed to pet the dog. This process occurred twice more at later dates.




    What petting a dog can do for your brain© Provided by CNN

    Petting a live dog supercharged activity in the part of the brain that controls thinking and emotional reactions, the study found. - Marti et al., CC-BY 4.0In other sessions, each person repeated the same sequence with a plush stuffed lion that contained a hot water bottle to simulate the body temperature of a live dog. In each of the scenarios, brain stimulation rose as the dog or stuffed animal moved closer.


    “We found that brain activity increased when the contact with the dog or a plush animal became closer. This confirms previous studies linking closer contact with animals or control stimuli with increased brain activation,” Marti said.


    However, the study found an even stronger boost in brain activity when the person petted the fur of a real dog versus the stuffed animal.


    “We think emotional involvement might be a central underlying mechanism of brain activation in human-animal interactions,” Marti said, adding that the stuffed animal likely triggered less affection.


    The results mirror findings by other researchers, who found more brain activity when participants interacted with live rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, dogs and horses, she said.


    “Positive nonverbal cues and reciprocal interactions provided by a living animal could in part explain this difference,” Braley said.

    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

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  7. #1652
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Mull Rally next weekend; starts in the dark on Friday night, with 150 cars entered.
    It's the 50th Rally too, and to celebrate, the start this year is along Main Street and the harbour front. Our Museum overlooks the first bend, and one of their official photographers will be videoing from our first (US: second) floor windows. I volunteered, and got the job to accompany him, so probably the best view in town.
    Long range weather forecast looks crap- rain and gales, so I am glad I will be indoors, and brewing coffee too. With the roads closed, a lot of spectators have to stay put for around four hours once the rally has started.

  8. #1653
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    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn;[URL="tel:6737380"
    6737380[/URL]]Mull Rally next weekend; starts in the dark on Friday night, with 150 cars entered.
    It's the 50th Rally too, and to celebrate, the start this year is along Main Street and the harbour front. Our Museum overlooks the first bend, and one of their official photographers will be videoing from our first (US: second) floor windows. I volunteered, and got the job to accompany him, so probably the best view in town.
    Long range weather forecast looks crap- rain and gales, so I am glad I will be indoors, and brewing coffee too. With the roads closed, a lot of spectators have to stay put for around four hours once the rally has started.
    How did it go and tell us more about this “Mull Rally” ?
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  9. #1654
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    This is quite a story:
    A single mom's 4 kids had to fend for themselves when tragedy struck. How a chance encounter years ago saved their future
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/09/us/tr...ily/index.html
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  10. #1655
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Quote Originally Posted by Spin_Drift View Post
    How did it go and tell us more about this “Mull Rally” ?
    I'll tell you after Friday!

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    RURAL ALASKA

    Under threat of thaw, some North Slope ice cellars will get tech upgrades to stay frozen.


    Alena Naiden
    Anchorage Daily News


    When traditional ice cellars are flooded, the damage extends beyond the stored food. Traditional practices for preservation and cooking are disrupted.

    “It affects our food security,” said Doreen Leavitt, director of natural resources at the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope. “It affects our sovereignty to store our food in a traditional way, serve it in our way. It affects our culture as a whole.” ICAS, the regional tribal government, is working to preserve ice cellars by outfitting some with thermosyphon technology — a passive pipe filled with a cooling fluid — to keep them frozen. “Those ice cellars need some help with cooling,” ICAS consultant Lars Nelson said. “The plan is that the ice cellars will just freeze.”Leavitt, who grew up in a whaling family in Utqiagvik, experienced the problem in spring 2015. Her family landed a 50-foot whale, so they cut up the meat to store it in an ice cellar, or Sigluaq. But that year, the meat did not completely freeze, and the blood ran out from it, making the meat dry.“We want the blood to stay so we can ferment the meat and have it moist when we serve it,” Leavitt said.Besides affecting the quality and taste of food, disappearing ice cellars hurt Iñupiaq practices.

    Traditionally, whaling captains empty and clean their ice cellars and put fresh snow in them before starting the whaling season. “Whaling captains and the crew understand that you have to prepare your cellar before you catch the whale; otherwise the whale won’t respect you,” Nelson said.


    Leavitt agreed. “You have to have your ice cellar empty; that way the whale gives itself to you. With climate change, they open their ice cellar, and it’s full of water.”

    Utqiagvik whaler Kunneak Nageak said that several years ago, when his town saw a lot of rain “that really soaked the tundra,” the ice cellar of his whaling crew caved in.

    “Tundra got so heavy and started caving in, and then all that rain dripped down and froze on the bottom, forming like an 18-inch-wide icicle on the bottom,” Nageak said.

    Nageak said he went down the cellar when the ice was frozen and used a jackhammer to break that icicle. He also reinforced the cellar.

    Multiple studies have registered how ice cellars in Arctic communities are affected by a warming climate, as well as soil conditions and urban development. In Alaska, ice cellars have mostly been used along the Arctic coast.

    Iñupiat communities have been looking for alternatives to traditional ice cellars. Some households switched to using manmade freezers, which can be effective but they affect the taste and the quality of the food, Nelson said. Additionally, power outages, frequent in the villages, can make this storage method unreliable. So the search is on for creative ideas to preserve traditional ice cellars.

    Thermosyphons are pipe-like refrigeration devices that function by transferring heat from the surrounding permafrost outside, cooling the ground they are placed in and preserving stable temperatures in ice cellars. Lowcost and low-maintenance, the pipes are filled with fluid that moves heat from down below up to the top, said Rorik Peterson, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Thermosyphons work best in winter.

    “It works in the winter, it only works when it is colder outside than it is below ground,” he said.

    The technology has been studied and used on the North Slope before — for example, to keep oil wells cold, Peterson said. In a 2011 analytic study, Peterson and Kyle Wendler examined ways to use the technology in ice cellars, and the results seemed promising. So in 2017, Kaktovik residents built an ice cellar for the whole community to share, based on traditional designs and using thermosyphon technology.

    “They kind of wanted to make a community of it,” Peterson said. “That was the reason that they built anew one.” Now, what ICAS wants to do is save some of the existing ice cellars, installing thermosyphon pipes under the perimeter of the ice cellars. That’s something that Peterson believes can be effective.

    “I don’t think we’ve seen that done yet,” Nelson said. “It’s the first of its kind.”

    Using funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, ICAS will gather applications from across the region and choose which ice cellars can be renovated. They’ll need to make sure it’s accessible for the heavy equipment drill in winter. “We are happy to see anyone who has an existing ice cellar … but we are trying to ensure accessibility,” Nelson said. “Every project needs to be coordinated. Every ice cellar is a separate project.”

    Peterson explained that it is important to implement the technology in an existing cellar carefully.

    “If you bring in large machinery to install this, you need to be careful that you don’t actually make the problem worse,” he said. “You want (thermosyphons) as close to the cellaras possible ... but then you need to be careful that you don’t disturb what’s already there.”

    So far, several people have submitted applications, which are available at icas-nsn.gov, and program managers are starting to work on processing them, Leavitt said.

    The program managers will track effectiveness. If the test sites prove the concept is effective, ICAS officials said they will seek additional funding to expand the technology to more ice cellars.

    Another outcome that program managers hope to get is to begin “gathering information about existing ice cellars, analyzing the range of applicants, and starting an ice cellar database” to see how ice cellars are changing across the region, Nelson said.

    Nelson said that this project, as well as other innovative ideas to modernize cellars using new technology, is another example of the ability of Indigenous communities to persevere.

    “As Iñupiaq people here, we adapt,” he said. “We always adapted.”
    Contact Alena Naiden at anaiden@adn.com
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  12. #1657
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    WILDLIFE

    Here’s what happened when a sea lion crossed the road in Valdez

    Morgan Krakow
    Anchorage Daily News


    Step aside, renowned fat bears of Katmai National Park and Preserve: There’s a new chunky mammal in the spotlight in Alaska this week.


    An out-of-place Steller sea lion stopped traffic in the Prince William Sound community of Valdez on Friday morning, making for a memorable shift for patrol Sgt. Chad Clements with the Valdez Police Department.


    Clements said officers began getting calls about a sea lion loose on land near the harbor at around 6:30 a.m.


    Soon, they received a call that the sea lion had moved to the parking lot of an RV park near the local Captain Joe’s Gas Station — even farther from the water than where it was initially spotted.


    “It was like, ‘All right, he’s going the wrong way,’ ” Clements said.


    The sergeant, along with a few other officers, went out to locate the sea lion. Police officers used their cars in an attempt to herd it toward the water, sounding their sirens every once in a while to move the wayward mammal along.


    They could tell it was tired.


    “It took a while,” Clements said. “I mean, he’d move along and then he would kind of lay down.”


    It was Friday morning, around the time school starts, so it was busy in town. By the time officers shepherded the sea lion to the Richardson Highway, they had to halt traffic to allow for the lumbering behemoth to cross the street and get into the water. The RV park’s manager even offered the use of his backhoe to help usher the animal across the highway and through a swampy area.


    “We did what we had to do for public safety reasons,” Clements said. “And we wanted to make sure (the sea lion) didn’t die, obviously.”


    Once the sea lion returned to the water, officers thought the encounter was over. But as the animal moved across the town’s tidal flats, it returned on a different road, crossing over to the Valdez dry dock at the harbor. Officers once again had to coax the marine mammal back toward the water.


    It was nice, Clements said, to finally see the animal enter the water.


    Photos indicate the sea lion was likely a sub-adult male, ranging in age from 5 to 8 years old, said Kim Raum-Suryan, Steller sea lion coordinator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration based in Juneau. At that point, they are developing a thick neck and getting bigger but aren’t fully grown, and tend to be between 1,200 and 1,700 pounds, she said. When they’re in their prime, adult males can reach weights over 2,000 pounds, Raum-Suryan said.


    Sea lions making their way into Alaska towns is a rare though not unprecedented incident, she said.


    The last time Raum-Suryan heard about this type of lost sea lion situation was in 2018 in Sitka, where community members spent four days trying to coax a scared Steller sea lion out of the forest and into the water. Ultimately, Raum-Suryan and others had to tranquilize the animal and took him back to the water via truck and front-end loader.


    “I’m really happy to hear that the police department in Valdez was able to get this guy back into the water,” Raum-Suryan said. “That’s great news.”


    Law enforcement offers in Valdez, a roughly 4,000-person community that sits at the foot of the Chugach Mountains, are no strangers to wildlife calls. Usually, though, the subjects are moose and bears. The lost sea lion was a novel situation, Clements said.


    “I’ve dealt with some otters, I’ve dealt with bears, I’ve dealt with dogs, cats. It’s not like I’ve ever found like a boa constrictor or a python out there, that’d be probably the top,” Clements said. “But a sea lion, I wouldn’t forget this one.”
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    COMMENTARY
    A fog lifts on Wolverine Peak
    Thomas Pease

    If you climb Wolverine Peak in the Chugach front range, you might see the airplane wreckage just below the upper ridge as it turns east and leads to the summit. But it’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. About 30 or so yards downhill from the rocky path, the weather-darkened, welded airframe blends in with the surrounding slate-gray rock and lichen. Any distinguishing paint or markings have long since been sand-blasted away by the williwaws that scream down the valleys to the east.

    A running coach introduced me to Wolverine in the mid-1970s, when I was in junior high school.

    Back then, there was no obvious trail leading up the mountain, but the most logical way to navigate the slope took hikers by the wreckage. I never gave the crash site much thought. As a young adolescent, I was more focused on social acceptance and my rank on the running team than on the rare sight of an airplane wreck.

    Over the next decades, I climbed Wolverine dozens of times. Sometimes I would make the round trip without noting the wreckage, my thoughts straying elsewhere or fog obscuring the debris. Yet at some point well into my thirties, my indifference toward the desolate crash scene changed to curiosity. What kind of plane had it been? Who was on board? When had it crashed?

    Was it weather-related? Pilot error? Mechanical failure?

    Had anyone survived? I always paused when I reached that point on my ascent and would scan the steep, rocky slope until I located the wreckage. But I never sought answers.

    Then last fall, on a gray, drizzly day, I left the Wolverine trail near the summit and dropped down into a drainage in search of blueberries. The descent was steep, and recent rains had turned wet rocks and soggy tundra into tenuous footholds. Near the bottom, the drainage narrowed into a shallow gulley. I stayed high, paralleling the gulley, side-hilling to my right, avoiding water and scrub brush in the bottom of the drainage itself. Blueberries greeted me on the lower tundra where water and soil allow the plants to flourish. I moved downhill, picking berries as I went, lost in a berry-picker’s reverie.

    At some point, I stood upright to uncoil the kinks in my back.

    Just a few yards downhill from me sat an engine, upright in the same position it would have been mounted in an aircraft. I recognized it as a large radial engine with nine cylinders arranged in a circle; the same type of engine that powers de Havilland Beavers, Alaska’s aviation workhorses. Now I was truly puzzled.

    Questions fired in my head like the pistons on the radial engine once had. Logic would indicate that the engine was part of the plane that crashed near the top of the ridge. Yet a half mile and 800 vertical feet separated it from the airframe, and it appeared newer, less weathered. Could it be from a second, more recent crash?

    It wouldn’t be the first time an Alaska mountain had claimed multiple planes. I took photos before I walked out, haunted by the prospect that Wolverine Peak, my backyard mountain, held more than one graveyard.

    I was determined to finally discover the story behind the perplexing scene. But life interrupted my best intentions, and another year passed without investigating the crash — or crashes — further.

    This year, I returned to Wolverine in early August for blueberries and dropped down into the Wolverine bowl again. This time, I held to the gulley, and near the bottom, discovered landing gear with yellow paint and a fleck of blue, as well as a Goodyear tire still intact. It took some time to locate the engine again, farther downhill than I remembered, perhaps 50 yards below the wheel strut. This time I took multiple photos, including serial numbers whenever I could locate them. I studied the debris, then sighted along an uphill trajectory into the fog where I knew the airframe rested. The distance seemed too great to be from the same plane, unless an avalanche swept part of the wreckage to the bottom of the gulley. But why would the engine, the heaviest part of the plane, be carried the greatest distance in an avalanche?

    I immediately sent a text with the photos to a friend who is acommercial airplane mechanic.

    Within hours, I received a reply, and with it, answers to my questions.

    On June 9, 1956, The Anchorage Times identified the plane as a blue single-engine Howard that went missing the previous day and was feared down somewhere in the Chugach Mountains with five people aboard. The pilot’s last radio transmission was around 11:30 a.m. on June 8, when he reported approaching from the southwest at 5,000 feet for Merrill Field.

    The pilot had just purchased the used Howard in Washington, D.C., and was on the final leg of a multi-day flight to Anchorage, where he was stationed in the military. The party had taken off from Northway that morning, with Merrill Field its final destination. Or would have been. But a fast-moving fog enveloped the plane, obscured visibility and caused it to stray east of its final approach. The plane cleared a lower ridge to the south before slamming into the front face of Wolverine at around 4,000 feet.

    The engine sheared off on impact and tumbled downhill, while the main portion of the plane continued uphill, bounced multiple times and came to rest 100 feet below the top of the ridge. The wreckage then caught fire. All five people on board perished.

    I know their names now, all five of them: The pilot, Elbert Head, 28, of the Alaskan Air Command; his mother, Mrs. J. C. Head, of Birmingham, Alabama; Mrs. Wallace Hess of Dallas, Texas, the wife of Master Sgt. Hess of the 64th Fighter Interceptor Squadron; and George Hogue and W.K. Tanner, both of Birmingham.

    The engine, a Wasp Junior, was manufactured by Pratt and Whitney, based on the photos and serial number. It was the same engine installed in the Howard model DGA-15p. The wheel and strut belonged to the Howard as well, identified by a distinctive towing ring welded forward of the wheel. The far-flung debris was all from the same plane.

    Later in the month, I returned, hiking up Wolverine more slowly than usual. It was drizzly and my bare forearms tingled from the wet chill, but the uphill exertion made a second layer unnecessary. I stopped several times as the trail turned east and steepened. I needed to catch my breath after a bout with COVID-19, but more than that, the vistas beckoned to the south and west. Directly below me was O’Malley Road, one of the few pioneer roads laid out in a perfectly straight line. Farther west lay Lake Hood and the Spenard neighborhood, which, in 1956 was an independent entity with its own post office. Just offshore was Fire Island, lolling in the muddy shallows of Cook Inlet like a giant cetacean scratching barnacles off its back. Beyond that, Mount Susitna, with a sprinkling of termination dust. Facing east and resuming my climb, the landscape was more ominous. Black clouds plugged the middle and north forks of Campbell Creek. A thick fog bank hid Wolverine’s summit. It was weather not uncommon in the Chugach Mountains; weather not unlike what ensnared the Howard and its pilot. The airframe gradually took shape, like an apparition, to my right. I sidehilled over to it and stopped.

    I gauged the distance across the Anchorage bowl. The Howard came so close. Just seven miles shy of Merrill Field. Just 300 vertical feet below the crest of the ridge.

    The fog bank slowly lifted.

    (continues on next post)
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  14. #1659
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    The same stunning landscapes the victims might have viewed through the windows of the Howard lay before me. So much life and so many adventures ended on the alpine tundra. Five faceless victims imprinted on the face of a mountain. Those five souls, young and old alike, poised for a love affair with Alaska. This state displays a wildness we all fall in love with, a beauty that keeps us here. But its wild beauty sometimes exacts a price. It’s a tenuous relationship, I remind myself, one that we cling to but have little control over.

    As I descended into the drainage where the Howard’s engine rests, I noticed a burst of color, a flourish of paint on a weathered August landscape. The wildflowers — geraniums, wild iris, monks hood, fleabane — got a late start after a record winter snowfall covered mountain slopes well into summer. They were likely blooming on that day when Wolverine Peak became a permanent home for the Howard. Now, fittingly, another generation of wildflowers honors the Howard Five in their unmarked graves.

    Thomas Pease is a lifelong Anchorage resident and mountain enthusiast. He teaches in the Anchorage public school system

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  15. #1660
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    Her fish wasn’t allowed to fly. An airline worker looked after it for 4 months.

    Cathy Free
    The Washington Post


    At the end of her freshman year at the University of Tampa in May, Kira Rumfola packed her bags and headed to the airport with her favorite roommate: a colorful betta fish named Theo.


    Rumfola, 19, was headed home to Long Island for the summer and was happy to be bringing home the little fish that she had bonded with during the months she’d had him. She figured there would be no problem taking Theo onboard the plane in a small portable fish carrier.


    “I’d done it before over the holidays with another airline, so I filled the container with water and put Theo in it,” she said.


    But there was a problem. While she was checking her bags for her flight on Southwest Airlines, customer service agent Ismael Lazo noticed the deep blue and purple fish and explained to Rumfola that the airline’s pet policy allowed only small dogs and cats onboard in carriers. No other pets are permitted on planes.


    “All of my roommates had already gone home for the summer and I had nobody to leave Theo with,” said Rumfola, who is majoring in early childhood education at the university.


    “I was really sad and wondered what I was going to do,” she said. “He’s my pet.”


    Lazo, 35, said he understood Rumfola’s concern for Theo.


    “I have two dogs — I wouldn’t want to abandon them somewhere,” he said. “And I also know how hard it is to leave them when I go out of town.”


    Kira Rumfola, middle, picked up her fish, Theo, from Ismael Lazo, right, and his fiancee, Jamee Golub, when she returned to Tampa in late August.


    So he made a split-second decision to offer his home and his fish-sitting services.


    “How about if I take your fish home to live with me and my fiancee until you come back for college in the fall?” he said he told her. “You can text me over the summer to see how he’s doing whenever you like.”


    Rumfola’s face lit up, Lazo said. Right away, he felt good about his unusual offer.


    There was one catch: Lazo told Rumfola that he didn’t know the first thing about caring for a pet fish, but he was willing to try.


    “She gave me her fish kit — some food and some water conditioner — then told me how often to clean the water,” he recalled. “I told her I would do my very best to keep Theo happy.”


    Rumfola said she was ecstatic about Lazo’s offer and promised she would check in often over the summer to see how Theo was faring in his temporary home.


    “It was so nice that he would take on the responsibility of watching my fish,” she said. “I knew I’d miss Theo over the summer, but I was thankful to know he’d be cared for.”


    Rumfola said she bought Theo at a Tampa pet store last year to keep her and her new roommates company in their on-campus apartment during their first year away from home.


    “We’re allowed to have fish as pets, so I really wanted to get one,” she said, noting that she was immediately drawn to the shimmering blue and purple fish with a flowing tail.


    “He was such a pretty color and when I got him home, I saw he had a fun little personality,” Rumfola said. “He liked to do laps around his fishbowl.”


    Especially after meals. “I put his bowl on the kitchen island and I noticed that Theo really liked to watch me do dishes,” Rumfola added. “He’d always get excited when I did that.”


    It didn’t take long before she looked forward to seeing him after her classes each day.


    To abandon him at the airport would have been cruel, Rumfola said. Sending him off to spend a few months with Lazo was the best option available and she said she was happy to take it. He seemed like a dependable person.


    As soon as she arrived home in New York, she texted Lazo: “Hi Ismael, it’s the girl from the airport with the fish! I was just wondering how he is doing. If you have any questions about Theo please feel free to text me, thank you!”


    Lazo quickly responded: “Hey! We are heading to the store to buy him a bigger tank.”


    “We enjoyed having Theo around and we also noticed he got excited when my fiancee was doing the dishes,” Lazo said.


    He said he didn’t feel sad, though, when Rumfola returned to classes in Tampa in late August and it was time to reunite her with Theo.


    “To be honest, I was worried about something happening to him on our watch,” he said. “So I was happy for Kira to have him back.”


    When Rumfola went to Lazo’s apartment to pick up the fish, she gave him and his fiancee, Jamee Golub, a store gift card and some candy as a gesture of thanks.


    Rumfola is back on campus, relieved to be reunited with her small aquatic buddy. Theo is swimming laps around the bowl, just as he did at Lazo’s apartment.


    “I’m really grateful that he stepped up to help,” she said about Lazo. “Four months is a long time, but Theo seems pretty happy.”
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  16. #1661
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    The article doesn't explain why the seal lion crossed the road!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    A bit more about the Mull Rally.
    In 1968 the late Brian Molyneux and family were holidaying at Glengorm Castle on the Isle of Mull. Looking round the island, with its spectacular scenery, Brian thought this would be a great place to stage a rally, using the twisty single track tarmac roads.
    Brian was the chairman of the Mullard Motor Cycle and Car Club in Blackburn, Lancashire, Mullards being a large electronics firm. From the club's initial letters, MMCCC, translated into Latin numerals, the club became the 2300 Club.
    Brian put a huge amount of time into persuading his committee, and more importantly, the islanders that this was a good idea, and in 1969 the first Tour of Mull rally was organised. It was a simple one night event, starting at 10.30 pm, and attracted 57 starters.
    In 1972, 73 and 74 the event was a round of the Scottish Rally Championship. (Last year, it was a round in the British Rally Championship)

    New regulations for 1988 meant that the rally could not be run under its existing form. The only solution was to apply for Closed Roads status, which required an Act of Parliament.
    This involved a fair bit of politics, was complicated, time consuming and expensive, but the Act was passed, and the 1990 Mull Rally became the first Rally in the UK to run on closed roads.

    The organisation of the rally passed from the 2300 Club to the Mull Car Club in 2010, and the rally has settled into a 3 day event, starting on Friday night, followed by Saturday afternoon, and then Saturday night/Sunday morning stages.
    Mull drivers have frequently been winners; knowing the roads can help....
    The rally is estimated to bring in over £1 million annually to the local economy.

    We lost two years to problems with obtaining insurance cover and a further year due to covid, so Friday's start will be for the 50th Rally.
    This year there should be 150 starters, so a total of 300 drivers and navigators, of which 43 are islanders. That's 1.4% of our 3,000 island population- we have a lot of petrolheads!
    The local shops all put a bit of effort in to welcome the rally, which competitors have christened The Best Rally in the World- pic enclosed.

    001.jpg

    004 (2).jpg
    Last edited by birlinn; 10-11-2022 at 04:07 AM.

  18. #1663
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    That’s ^ really interesting, Phil. It has really grown. Nice to see the pictures too
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  19. #1664
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Quote Originally Posted by Spin_Drift View Post
    What petting a dog can do for your brain

    [COLOR=var(--neutral-foreground-rest)]Sandee LaMotte - 5h ago
    [/COLOR]


    On one side of the room sits the cutest life-size stuffed animal you’ve ever seen. On the other side rests a real dog — same size, shape and even the same name as the stuffed version.


    You get to sit next to both of these fluffy friends and pet their fur. Guess which one will make your brain light up?


    If you guessed the real dog, you’re right. Stuffed animals, as cute and cuddly as they may be, just don’t supercharge our frontal cortex, the part of the brain overseeing how we think and feel, according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.


    “We chose to investigate the frontal cortex because this brain area is involved in several executive functions, such as attention, working memory, and problem-solving. But it is also involved in social and emotional processes,” said study lead author Rahel Marti, a doctoral student in the division of clinical psychology and animal-assisted interventions at the University of Basel in Switzerland, in an email


    Why is this finding important? It provides additional evidence that live human-animal therapy interactions may boost cognitive and emotional activity in the brain, Marti said.


    “If patients with deficits in motivation, attention, and socioemotional functioning show higher emotional involvement in activities connected to a dog, then such activities could increase the chance of learning and of achieving therapeutic aims,” she said.


    This latest study adds to existing research on the benefits of animal-assisted therapy in medically supervised neural rehabilitation for nervous system conditions, such as strokes, seizure disorders, brain trauma and infections.


    “This is an interesting, rigorously conducted study that provides new insight into associations between human-animal interaction and regional prefrontal brain activity in healthy adults,” said Dr. Tiffany Braley, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who has published research on the connection between pet ownership and cognitive health.


    “Although further work in larger samples of people with specific neurological conditions is needed, the current study could inform future research of animal-assisted interventions for neurorehabilitation by providing new data regarding the type, intensity, and frequency of animal interactions necessary to achieve desired physiological or clinical benefits,” said Braley, who was not involved in the new research.


    Researchers used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in the study, which is a portable brain scanner that provides flexibility since it’s functional in natural settings and not limited to a closed room in a lab. The technique measures brain activity via oxygen saturation of the blood in the brain.

    Closer the better

    The study team fitted each of 19 participants with the scanner and asked them to observe and interact with one of three live dogs: a Jack Russell terrier, a goldendoodle and a golden retriever. First, study participants watched the dog from across the room. Then the dog sat next to them. Finally, each person was allowed to pet the dog. This process occurred twice more at later dates.




    What petting a dog can do for your brain© Provided by CNN

    Petting a live dog supercharged activity in the part of the brain that controls thinking and emotional reactions, the study found. - Marti et al., CC-BY 4.0In other sessions, each person repeated the same sequence with a plush stuffed lion that contained a hot water bottle to simulate the body temperature of a live dog. In each of the scenarios, brain stimulation rose as the dog or stuffed animal moved closer.


    “We found that brain activity increased when the contact with the dog or a plush animal became closer. This confirms previous studies linking closer contact with animals or control stimuli with increased brain activation,” Marti said.


    However, the study found an even stronger boost in brain activity when the person petted the fur of a real dog versus the stuffed animal.


    “We think emotional involvement might be a central underlying mechanism of brain activation in human-animal interactions,” Marti said, adding that the stuffed animal likely triggered less affection.


    The results mirror findings by other researchers, who found more brain activity when participants interacted with live rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, dogs and horses, she said.


    “Positive nonverbal cues and reciprocal interactions provided by a living animal could in part explain this difference,” Braley said.


    Now for a follow up study of the subject petting her partner.
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo da Vinci.

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  20. #1665
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    I like William Sharner…

    William Shatner on traveling to space: 'All I saw was death'
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/10/business/william-shatner-new-book-boldly-go-scn/index.html


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  21. #1666
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    So how is the Mull Rally going?
    One of the favourites, Muilach Calum Duffy (nine times winner) got just over a mile on the first stage, only for his 'new' Mk 2 Escort to expire with major electrical problems.
    Another 42 cars have retired, so 107 still running. Retirement reasons include 'hit a post' and 'went through wall'..
    I watched the opening stage from the Museum window; as Main Street (the harbour front) was closed for all but rally cars from 6 pm to 10.30, I was sort of marooned.
    Four more stages to go overnight- the finishers will arrive back at Tobermory at about 4 am Sunday morning. I won't stay up...
    Local Muilach (person from Mull) Paul MacKinnon is leading in his Hyundai Rally 2, from last year's winner, Daniel Harper, in his Mini JWC WRC, with another Muilach, John MacCrone, in third with a Mk 2 Escort. Harper's Mini is the red car in the pic above.

  22. #1667
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    Mull rally finished with no change to the top 3- MacKinnon won by 8 seconds after 2 hours 13 minutes of competitive stages.
    100 finishers from 150 starters; six retired from the top 12.
    It's often interesting driving round afterwards looking at holes in walls, bent Armco, etc.

  23. #1668
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    Shark attacks, jellyfish stings and 28 hours floating at sea: This is how three boaters survived
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/15/us/bo...son/index.html
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  24. #1669
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    LOOK TO EXERCISE TO EXTEND LIFE, EVEN FOR THE OLDEST, study says

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/17/healt...ess/index.html
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  25. #1670
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    Rare 300-foot whaleback boat discovered at the bottom of Lake Superior

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/20/world...scn/index.html
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  26. #1671
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    I really do wonder about our goverment departments sometimes. Clearing in through customs in a boat involves pretty serious investigation by Customs and biosecurity. Coming in in a floating petri dish , evidently not.
    The first cruise ship in 2½ years to disembark passengers in Wellington has active Covid-19 on board.Ovation of the Seas, which carrying about 4500 crew and passengers, has docked in both Napier and Wellington in the past two days. By 1pm on Tuesday there were 129 passengers and and two crew members reported as current Covid cases
    The ship had been in Vancouver, Seattle, Hawaii and French Polynesia before its arrival in New Zealand. It leaves for Picton on Tuesday evening, then goes to Sydney.

  27. #1672
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    Quote Originally Posted by John B;[URL="tel:6746417"
    6746417[/URL]]I really do wonder about our goverment departments sometimes. Clearing in through customs in a boat involves pretty serious investigation by Customs and biosecurity. Coming in in a floating petri dish , evidently not.
    that’s crazy and irresponsible
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  28. #1673
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Quote Originally Posted by Spin_Drift View Post
    that’s crazy and irresponsible
    It's a perfect way to move the virus (actually, all sorts of disease) around the world! Not as fast as by airplane, but think how many more strains & potential spreaders you can fit on a cruise ship!

    We all know that someone who sails their own boat across oceans is some sort of weirdo & that the drunks - oops - passengers - on cruise ships are here to shop until they drop so bring 'em on & try to keep the weirdos out!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  29. #1674
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    With reference to http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...15#post6467315 the work to bury the power cables is complete. The last pylon was toppled yesterday.




    The last electricity pylon in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) has been pulled down.


    Work to remove 22 pylons and 8.8km (5.5 miles) of overhead cable started near Winterbourne Abbas, Dorset, in September.


    The overhead power lines, put up in the 1960s, have been replaced with buried cables to restore uninterrupted views of the landscape.


    The final pylon, just north of the A35, was felled on Friday morning.

    Excavations ahead of the work in 2021 led to archaeological discoveries dating back 6,000 years.


    A Roman settlement was uncovered, as well as Neolithic and Bronze Age finds. The oldest artefacts were flint tools and pottery from about 4,000BC.


    More than 25 researchers from Oxford Archaeology spent months carrying out investigations, focusing on six locations along the route west of Dorchester.


    Catsbarrow was among a number of burial sites unearthed by archaeologists

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-63423318

    Nick

  30. #1675
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    CultureFashion

    'World's Fastest Shoes' Promise 250% Boost in Your Walking Speed

    The inventors of the Moonwalkers swear the powered shoes aren't roller skates.

    Amanda Kooser



    Nov. 1, 2022 10:22 a.m. PT

    2 min read








    Moonwalkers might not be fashion-forward, but they want to be fast forward.
    Shift Robotics


    I love walking, but it has its drawbacks if I'm in a hurry. Pittsburgh startup Shift Robotics thinks it has a solution to the pesky slowness of walking : powered, wheeled smart shoes called Moonwalkers that promise a 250% increase in your walking speed.


    At first glance, you might think they're some form of weird roller skates, but the company insists they're a new product and deserve to be called "the world's fastest shoes." The shoes strap onto your regular footwear like fancy sandals. Each shoe sports a hinged design mean to enable a normal walking motion while eight powered wheels move you forward faster than you could go on your own.


    Walking looks more like a running with these weird shoes.
    .Video footage of the Moonwalkers in action make the shoes look like sci-fi creations. They have a top speed of 7 mph (11 kph), an average range of 6.5 miles (10.5 kilometers) and a weight of 4.2 pounds (2 kilograms).


    Shift is funding Moonwalkers on Kickstarter, so the usual caveats apply. Not all crowdfunding projects deliver on time and as expected. The shoes cost a lot more than your standard kicks. The super early adopter price level is $1,099 (£960, AU$1,720). The Kickstarter has already attracted over $200,000, putting it well over its initial $90,000 goal.


    The shoes are equipped with software that's meant to adapt to your movements. An electronic brake locks out the wheels when needed, like when going up stairs. The brake is triggered by specific movements of the right foot. An instructional video walks new Moonwalkers through getting started.


    Commuters currently have a lot of options for powered devices ranging from skateboards to scooters. If you're into unusual modes of foot-related transportation, Segway's Drift W1 electric skates also fit the bill. Moonwalkers might be an attractive alternative for their small size and portability. There's also a dorky-cool factor to the way they look and move. Will they revolutionize walking? That remains to be seen.


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  31. #1676
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    Map norths converge on Dorset village in historic first

    A small village has made map reading history and become the first place where true, magnetic and grid north have met at a single point.


    According to the Ordnance Survey (OS) the historic triple alignment made landfall in Langton Matravers, near Swanage in Dorset, on Wednesday.


    It will stay converged for three and a half years as it travels through the UK.


    OS spokesman Mark Greaves said it was not related to climate change.


    Records held by the OS, Britain's national mapping service, date back to the 1930s but Mr Greaves said this was the "first time ever in British mapping history" the three norths had aligned.


    "Magnetic north has a habit of wandering around, but this is unusual, it's not been in this orientation for hundreds of years," he added.

    Langton Matravers


    The position of the magnetic North Pole moves continually north-westward due to adjustments in the magnetic field in the core of the Earth.


    It it this "wandering" which had created the convergence and the historic alignment, Mr Greaves said.


    Map readers are taught to know the difference when navigating with a compass between magnetic north and grid north, it is also crucial for navigating in aviation and shipping.


    But it would not make much of a difference to map reading for the duration of alignment, "just make it slightly easier," Mr Greaves said.


    According to the OS, the converged line will pass through nearby Poole by Christmas, before moving reaching Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire in August 2024.


    It will leave the English coast at Berwick-Upon-Tweed in August 2025.


    It does not hit land again until roughly May 2026 at Drums. Its last stop in Scotland, and the UK landmass, is Fraserburgh around July 2026.




    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-63475943




    Nick

  32. #1677
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    Here is some interesting and incredible art pieces. Check out the detail work by expanding the pictures.

    https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2019/...ia-sculptures/
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  33. #1678
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    Tunnel discovered beneath temple may lead to Cleopatra's tomb, archaeologist says
    https://www.cnn.com/style/article/eg...scn/index.html
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  34. #1679
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    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Quote Originally Posted by Spin_Drift View Post
    Tunnel discovered beneath temple may lead to Cleopatra's tomb, archaeologist says
    https://www.cnn.com/style/article/eg...scn/index.html
    Cool!

    About 20 years ago, I was in Turkey at a small bay protected by islands. Across the bay was a building that was obviously really old. When I asked what it had been, the local smiled & said "Where Cleopatra used to tryst with Anthony." Chills.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  35. #1680
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bournemouth UK
    Posts
    2,259

    Default Re: Interesting News Stories...From Your Communities and the World....

    Dog hands herself into police station after going missing on walk



    https://metro.co.uk/2022/11/15/lough...sing-17760388/

    But instead the clever animal managed to stroll into Loughborough Police Station after she ran away from her owner Steve Harper after becoming scared by a firework while on a walk on Friday.
    CCTV captured the moment Rosie the border collie wandered through the automatic doors and had a little sniff, before settling down in the corner to patiently wait.
    Nick

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