The “Christmas flood” of 1964 was one of the most significant natural disasters to hit the Pacific Northwest, in recorded history. Now, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of that devastating event, Clackamas County is set to release two mini-documentaries chronicling the catastrophe. You can learn more at the Oregonian: http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2014/11/devastation_of_64_flood_rememb.html#incart_river
It should hardly come as a surprise that much of the American History you learned in school was sanitized and spun to serve the party line. From editorial tweaks to Nathan Hale’s speech from the gallows, to a young George Washington’s fabled toss of a then-nonexistent coin, to politically-inspired mischaracterizations of Shays’ and the Whisky Rebellions, it should be clear some liberties have been taken in educating our citizens. In some cases, the distortion field created by these historical revisions can lead to a very skewed view of our past.
Thanksgiving, it would appear, is one such event-turned-fable. In a brief departure from the usual focus of this publication on matters related to paddlesport, I offer you Talking Points Memorandum’s take on this timely matter: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/it-s-long-past-time-to-update-the-thanksgiving-myth
Between parasites, fungus, pesticides – bees are clearly having a hard time, these days. Now research from the Netherlands points to another factor in the decline of native bee populations: declining wildflower numbers and diversity.
The researchers started by analyzing the pollen found on bee specimens from museums. Their findings led them to conclude that the decline in wildflowers, due to intensified farming, has robbed many species of bee of crucial food sources. Ars Technica has more: http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/11/more-problems-for-bees-weve-wiped-out-their-favorite-plants/
A new analysis of the results of several studies on the impacts of dairy products on health has produced a surprising result: while dairy in general showed no significant impact on Type 2 Diabetes incidence, yogurt showed a decided effect in reducing its development. The study was massive, following almost 200,000 subjects over almost 4-million person-years. BMC Medicine elaborates: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/12/215
Of course, the weekend is the most common time for paddling adventure. New research has shown just how important it is for you to go forth and ply our waters on Saturday and Sunday. It turns out that the average person, who doesn’t enjoy such calorie-consuming activity, packs on the pounds over the weekend, and weighs their most, all week, on Monday. No wonder it’s hard to lift yourself out of bed on Monday, (if you’re not a paddler). The Smithsonian offers more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/you-are-heaviest-mondays-and-heres-why-180953447/
Ed and Carol Deery have shared an insightful and poignant illustration of the modern kayaker in his element. You can find this revealing image, here: http://www.arcamax.com/thefunnies/ballardstreet/s-1587391
A study from Ohio State University has found doubling saturated fat in their subjects’ diets had no effect on the levels of saturated fat in the blood. Conversely, increasing carbohydrates in the diet prompted a steady increase in harmful fatty acids in the blood. Senior author Jeff Volek is quoted as saying that this, “… challenges the conventional wisdom that has demonized saturated fat and extends our knowledge of why dietary saturated fat doesn’t correlate with disease.” Here’s the scoop: http://news.osu.edu/news/2014/11/21/study-doubling-saturated-fat-in-the-diet-does-not-increase-saturated-fat-in-blood/
So, is this phat news for fat?
BBC Earth has released a fascinating slow-motion video of a barn owl as it captures its prey. By training a female barn owl to strike where it heard a tone emanating, videographers managed to stage the perfect photo op. With uncanny precision and focus, the owl pounces, while two cameras capture the acrobatics in stunning detail. The mouse-eye view is particularly noteworthy. You can find the video here: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141120-a-hunting-barn-own-in-slow-motion
Researchers have found that acoustic tags used to study fish migration and behavior may serve to help seals, and perhaps other predators, to locate their prey. This could have serious ramifications for any studies of predation that use such devices. The American Academy for the Advancement of Science has a short article on this, here: http://news.sciencemag.org/plants-animals/2014/11/fish-tagged-research-become-lunch-gray-seals
A parvovirus, known as SSaDV, is now thought to be the cause of the ongoing, massive die-off of Pacific Coast starfish. Although the virus is not new to the environment, specimens dating to 1942 exhibit the pathogen, it is thought factors such as viral mutation, environmental change, or starfish overpopulation have created the current situation. The Oregonain and Reuters have complementary articles: