Daily Archives: January 30, 2012

Lake Elmo Ice Fishing Contest Canceled

Organizers with the Lake Elmo Lions Club announced the cancellation of next Sunday’s ice fishing contest…

Organizers measured the ice on the lake at about 12 inches, and said it needed to be 18 inches for everyone’s safety, especially because most participants would be parking their vehicles along the lake’s edge.

…this is the second time in recent years the event had to be canceled because of warm weather.

Not from the Wall Street Journal

#occupy update

Things have gone south in Oakland

On Saturday, Occupy Oakland re-entered the national spotlight during a day-long effort to take over an empty building and transform it into a social center. Oakland police thwarted the efforts, arresting more than 400 people in the process, primarily during a mass nighttime arrest outside a downtown YMCA. That number included at least six journalists, myself included, in direct violation of OPD media relations policy that states “media shall never be targeted for dispersal or enforcement action because of their status.”

After an unsuccessful afternoon effort to occupy a former convention center, the more than 1,000 protesters elected to return to the site of their former encampment outside City Hall. On the way, they clashed with officers, advancing down a street with makeshift shields of corrugated metal and throwing objects at a police line. Officers responded with smoke grenades, tear gas, and bean bag projectiles. After protesters regrouped, they marched through downtown as police pursued and eventually contained a few hundred of them in an enclosed space outside a YMCA. Some entered the gym and were arrested inside.

As soon as it became clear that I would be kettled with the protesters.


Read the rest here

How do you know when to stop squeezing?

If you are a snake. And, what causes some island dwelling boas to be smaller than the mainland variety?

If you want to know the answer to these two burning questions, click here and visit Smithsonian’s Surprising Science where I’ll be guest blogging for a couple of weeks. For the first question, there is some new and very cool research. For the second question, some older (but closely related) research.

Global Warming Is Ruining The Minnesota Winter

I suspect that the complexity of global climate change is under-appreciated. If you live in a cold climate and I tell you that things will get warmer, you may see this as good news and look forward to a future where you no longer have to get your antifreeze checked and replace your old battery in September in preparation for the bitter cold of winter. But global warming is not the only kind of change happening because of the release of huge amounts of carbon in the atmosphere, and even with respect to the warming itself, things are much more complex than “it gets warm.” One example of this complexity is to be found in the Minnesota lakes, and in the closely related activity of fishing those lakes.

Minnesota normally gets quite cold, so ice forms on the lakes early, gets thick fast, survives any mid-winter warm spells, and stays solid late in the season. Minnesota normally gets relatively little snow and tends to be windy, so those ice-covered lakes, especially the larger ones, often have large areas where the ice is not covered by very much of the white fluffy stuff. Also, the waters at the time of freezing tend to be cooler than they strictly need to be to form ice; Deep water in the lakes stays cool all summer, so when winter comes the average temperature of the water in many lakes is lower than necessary to see ice formation at the surface.

Combined, these factors support two things:
Continue reading Global Warming Is Ruining The Minnesota Winter

Facing irrelevancy at the national level, Michel Bachmann makes important sounding statement of no substance

On meet the press, no less:

“I reserve the right to endorse someone but at this point I have not made a decision about endorsing any one of the candidates,” she said. “We are still in the process and I really truly do, Bob, want to be a unifying person in this party.”

Uh huh.

Political analyst Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey Institute said Bachmann may be holding off announcing an endorsement for “drama’s sake.”