Odds ‘n Ends news
by Pinedale Online!
February 7, 2016
Facebook Announces Ban On Private Gun Sales
Facebook announced on January 31, 2016 that it will no longer be allowing users to coordinate private gun sales on its website or on the photo-sharing service Instagram, which Facebook owns. The new announcement came after President Barack Obama’s new push for greater gun control and longtime pressure from gun control advocates.
Wisconsin Becomes First State to Legalize Blaze Pink
Wisconsin passed a new law which would allow state hunters to wear blaze pink in place of the traditional orange garb. They are the first state in the country to legalize fluorescent pink clothing as an alternative in satisfying the visibility requirement. Blaze pink has been available to purchase, but has not been legal for hunting use. Lawmakers proposed the bill in the hopes that the new color option will draw in more women hunters and to tap into a new market to begin promoting pink merchandise, which includes everything from clothing to weapons. Researchers claim that blaze pink is just as visible, if not more visible, to the human eye than blaze orange, and is actually more difficult for deer to see than blaze orange.
Video: Company Trains Eagles to Attack Drones
A company in the Netherlands is using specially trained eagles and hawks to intercept aerial drones. The new venture is in response to the government looking for ways to counter the undesirable use of drones. The use of trained raptors has proven to be an efficient alternative to shooting the vehicles down or trying to use sophisticated jamming technologies to disable the craft. Trained birds of prey have been used for centuries by skilled falconers for hunting purposes.
Video: Need a New Way to Travel on Thick Snow? Meet "Droneboarding"
Speaking of drones, here’s a pretty cool video of someone using a souped-up drone to do "droneboarding."
Smart Gigabit Cities – Why Utah's thriving technology sector also need gigabit speeds
One of the great strengths of Utah’s economy is in their information technology sector, including Adobe, eBay, Microsoft and Oracle. Utah has an exceedingly large number of fiber-optic Internet connections permitting consumers to upload or download at gigabit speeds, more than exist in Silicon Valley or Boston or New York. Information highways are the building blocks for software in the same way that physical highways are necessary for cars to get from here to there. Both information and concrete highways are strongly correlated with lasting economic development. "Smart Gigabit Cities" allow faster web browsing and help lower the digital distance between communities. In addition to gigabit speeds, communities need ultra-low latency, which permits holographic-like experiences such as symphony musicians playing simultaneously in multiple cities, or remote surgery, and virtual networking. Opening gigabit data connection systems can provide internet infrastructure to boost the entrepreneurial digital start-up culture.
New Montana Ant Species Emerge From 46-Million-Year-Old Rock
Smithsonian Science News, 1/8/16
Researchers have discovered a 46-million year old queen ant species in a fossil found along the middle fork of the Flathead River in Montana. This winged female ant is the only known member of her species. Her discovery is raising eyebrows among scientists who study ants because they believed living ants evolved more recently. This discovery proves that ants have been around much longer than previously believed. Crematogaster aurora is one of 12 new prehistoric ant species discovered in Kishenehn Formation shale in northwestern Montana by Dale Greenwalt, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and ant expert J.S. LaPolla of Towson University in Maryland. All 12 represent species new to science, known only from the locality in Montana. All are long extinct yet some represent genera that still exist. It is speculated that higher temperature climate change 46 million years ago led to the diversification, evolution and appearance of many new species of flowering plants. In the early Eocene it was as much as 15 degrees Celsius warmer worldwide than it is today. By comparing Kishenehn ant species and genera with other North American Eocene fossil deposits such as the Green River Deposit along the Green River in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah (48 million years old) and the Florissant Formation in Colorado (34 million years old) scientists can gradually piece together the abundance and distribution of North American ants during this period.
Cancer drug breakthrough announced
Experts have announced results of tests on a new drug made from tree bark, combined with radiation therapy, to cure some forms of solid tumor cancer. The 'double whammy' has proved 85% effective in laboratory trials on mice. British experts who made the discovery believe this may be a long-term complete cure for many common types of cancer. The optimism is based on results from a laboratory experiment involving human tumors grown in mice. The tests covered all the major forms of cancer which produce solid tumors, including bowel, breast, liver and lung. The drug, called combretastatin, works by destroying the developing blood vessels which tumors generate to supply themselves. Used on its own, however, it leaves a 'rim' of cancerous cells at the edge, allowing the disease to return. Radiation therapy completes the attack on the tumor by ensuring all the leftover cells are killed off. The scientists found that human tumors grown in mice disappeared completely in 85% of cases. The animals were still free of the disease almost a year afterwards. Combretastatin, which is derived from the bark of an African bush willow, leaves normal blood vessels untouched. The study was done by the Royal Free Hospital and University College Medical School in London, and the Gray Laboratory Cancer Research Trust. The results were published in the journal Cancer Research. Experts now hope to start human trials of the combination therapy as the next stage. The dual treatment could be available to patients within five years.
Unearthing B.C.’s mysterious Spanish roots
The Globe and Mail, 2/5/16
Spain has no record of any lost expeditions in Canada, but an old sword and shipwrecks suggest an early presence in the Okanagan, north of Washington state. A growing body of evidence, including a Spanish sword that has been dated to the 16th century, now suggests Spanish explorers thousands of kilometres farther north than they are currently known to have penetrated in inland expeditions. As early as 1542, Spanish ships had sailed as far north as San Diego Bay and by the 1700s they had reached Alaska. Coastal features in British Columbia – Juan de Fuca Strait, Cortes Island – reflect an early Spanish presence. The historical record shows Spanish explorers sailed along the west coast of North America, reaching as far north as Alaska in the 1700s. Overland expeditions crisscrossed what is now the southern United States in a quest for gold that took conquistadors from Florida to California. Ancient rock paintings in the Okanagan include one that appears to show a line of slaves, tied together at the neck, guarded by dogs and mounted men, which was the Spanish method. Native American legends exist of the "Turtle People," said to be a native name used because of the armour early conquistadors wore. Several artifacts have been found over the years that suggest the earlier Spanish presence. The weapons could have been brought into the area by early fur traders, who first arrived in 1811, or even before that, by native traders. One of the early shipwrecks is known about because parts of its cargo, huge blocks of beeswax destined to be turned into candles for Spanish mission churches, have been dug out of the sand near where the wreck is thought to lie.