Of all the presumptions people hold about life in the country, the one that bemuses me the most is the notion that it’s quiet out here. Hardly. It may be quiet if you’ve made your way into one of the densely forested areas that actually do provide an unobtrusive sanctuary, but absent that, forget quiet. If you live on or near a farm this time of year, there’s no quiet. There are ploughs ploughing, balers baling, four-wheelers wheeling, dogs barking, trucks trucking, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything that resembles pastoral serenity. Just the other day, it was so noisy around here, I was forced to take refuge in the Village of Rib Lake just to get some studying done. Continue reading
New observations of a star known as Gliese 667C have revealed a system with at least six planets, including a record-breaking three super-Earths orbiting in the star’s “habitable zone” where liquid water could exist on the planets. This is the first planetary system found to have a fully packed habitable zone.
“The three planets in the habitable zone are roughly Earth-sized, and only about three to four times the mass of the Earth,” said Steven Vogt, University of California, Santa Cruz astronomy and astrophysics professor who is on a team with Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism that made this discovery. Continue reading
“All politics is local.” That’s what Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once said during an interview about campaign tactics and the art of public persuasion. He held off office for ten years, from 1977-1987, and the only thing anyone remembers about the bombastic Speaker is that one quote—and that one quote is flat out wrong. Politics is not local. It’s a matter handled by national, and some would even argue, global politicos with their own agenda. Service, on the other hand, is and always has been a local proposition. That’s why I am pleased to announce that I have nominated Susan Brugger for the Taylor County FSA County Committee. Continue reading
I’ve got good news. There’s a cure for Amercanitis, that uniquely American malady born from an abundance of ingenuity and worry. Orison Swett Marden, author of Cheerfulness as a Life Power , quotes a well-heeled foreign visitor to the United States as saying, “Business is the alpha and omega of American life. There is no pleasure, no joy, and no satisfaction. There is no standard except that of profit. There is no other country where they speak of a man as worth so many dollars. In other countries they live to enjoy life; here they exist for business.” Here in the Land of Plenty, it’s easy to get caught up in the real national pastime—buying and selling. When it all starts to melt together—how much we’ve spent, how much we’ve earned, how much we’ve saved—we develop a bad case of Americanits.
WASHINGTON–The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is continuing to move more swiftly and consistently to take enforcement action in response to animal welfare violations. As part of its effort to make its actions transparent and accessible to the public, APHIS is highlighting enforcement actions taken in response to violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA). Continue reading
Humans are amazing throwers. We are unique among all animals, including our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, in our ability to throw projectiles at high speeds and with incredible accuracy. This trait was critical to the survival and success of our ancestors, aiding their hunting and protective skills, according to National Science Foundation- (NSF) funded research featured on the cover of this week’s journal Nature. Continue reading
DISPATCH–Around the same time Drifton resident Mrs. Claude Hocherbach reported sighting a large, brown and misshapen bear tearing through her yard on its hind legs, another longtime resident, Elmo Estebahn, reported a naked man had stolen his wife’s fake fur coat which was airing out on their front porch on Horse Pie Lane. Continue reading
June 20, 2013-The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today jointly announce 54 new research projects in 32 countries. Funded through a joint initiative, the projects aim to foster collaborative global research in critical areas of development. Continue reading
DISPATCH–Mrs. Claude Hocherbach of Drifton reported a frightening encounter with a large, angry, and possible mutant brown bear.
Mrs. Hocherbach reported seeing the creature crossing her property near the Drifton City Limits somewhere around 7:00 pm last Thursday evening. “It was on its hind legs trashing and wailing like the dickens,” says Hocherbach. “Scared the daylights out of Slobber.” Slobber, as long-time readers well know, is Mrs. Hocherbach’s donkey, of whom she is quite fond. Continue reading