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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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We Didnít Domesticate Dogs. They Domesticated Us.

Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods
for National Geographic News
Published March 3, 2013

In the story of how the dog came in from the cold and onto our sofas, we tend to give ourselves a little too much credit. The most common assumption is that some hunter-gatherer with a soft spot for cuteness found some wolf puppies and adopted them. Over time, these tamed wolves would have shown their prowess at hunting, so humans kept them around the campfire until they evolved into dogs.

But when we look back at our relationship with wolves throughout history, this doesn't really make sense. For one thing, the wolf was domesticated at a time when modern humans were not very tolerant of carnivorous competitors. In fact, after modern humans arrived in Europe around 43,000 years ago, they pretty much wiped out every large carnivore that existed, including saber-toothed cats and giant hyenas. The fossil record doesn't reveal whether these large carnivores starved to death because modern humans took most of the meat or whether humans picked them off on purpose. Either way, most of the Ice Age bestiary went extinct.

The hunting hypothesis, that humans used wolves to hunt, doesn't hold up either. Humans were already successful hunters without wolves, more successful than every other large carnivore. Wolves eat a lot of meat, as much as one deer per ten wolves every day-a lot for humans to feed or compete against. And anyone who has seen wolves in a feeding frenzy knows that wolves don't like to share.

Humans have a long history of eradicating wolves, rather than trying to adopt them. Over the last few centuries, almost every culture has hunted wolves to extinction. The first written record of the wolf's persecution was in the sixth century B.C. when Solon of Athens offered a bounty for every wolf killed. The last wolf was killed in England in the 16th century under the order of Henry VII. In Scotland, the forested landscape made wolves more difficult to kill. In response, the Scots burned the forests. North American wolves were not much better off. By 1930, there was not a wolf left in the 48 contiguous states of America.


"My Life As A Professional Cannabis Baker"

Emily Fleischaker
BuzzFeed Staff

A 45-year-old professional cannabis baker based in Los Angeles talked to BuzzFeed about her job. She asked to remain anonymous.

I was pregnant when I left my last office job. I was chief of staff at a nonprofit tech organization, but I became disillusioned with that path, and after my daughter was born, I decided I would never to go back to a corporate environment. A friend of mine was baking edibles ó that is, foods infused with marijuana ó and had approached me a few times about getting involved.
I was reluctant because I knew that if I was going to do it, I had to go all out. I couldn't hide it from my family, and I didn't want to hide it from my family. I've been around marijuana and smoking for years, but I kept it private. I was going to step out of a closet in a way, and that was something I struggled with for a while. It took a little bit of courage. But my family was very supportive.

As soon as my daughter was old enough that I had a little more time, I started baking with marijuana, alongside my friend. At first, I would bake huge batches, but sometimes my cookies could sit around for weeks before they went anywhere. I knew I could develop a niche for myself by using fresh, quality ingredients (like freshly squeezed organic lemons from my mom's garden). Now I bake everything to order and deliver the goods fresh to a handful of medical marijuana clubs in my neighborhood.

For now, I sell only sweets. I have five cookies and bars: peanut butter oatmeal cookies, snickerdoodle cookies, lemon bars, brownies, and peanut butter brownies. The cakes are red velvet with cream cheese glaze cake, triple chocolate cake, carrot cake, lemon cake, and ginger cake. I just finalized a recipe for a Rice Krispie treat, and people love it, so I'll add that to the menu soon.


How to Report From Guantanamo Bay

By Petra Bartosiewicz
The Miami Heraldís Carol Rosenberg has reported from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay since the first detainee arrived in 2002. Last month, President Obama scuttled the office responsible for closing the center, which means Gitmoís ďmedia tent cityĒ will be a permanent press encampment for the foreseeable future. Petra Bartosiewicz spoke with the veteran correspondent by phone from Gitmoís Camp Justice, where Rosenberg has been covering pretrial hearings this month of the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

When he took office, President Obama promised to close Guantanamo within a year. Now the office dedicated to closing the detention center has itself been closed. Whatís going on?
There are 166 detainees here right now. Congress has incrementally imposed harder and harder restrictions on their resettlement. Last year, two detainees went to El Salvador and two left dead. Nobody wants to be the person who sent someone back who will be behind the next terror attack. So itís Guantanamo forever.

How has covering the detention center changed?
When we first came down in 2002 a couple days before prisoners came, there was a real sense that this was an important moment in history and the military wanted coverage. They wanted reporters to report on it. They were really proud of what they were doing here. It was definitely a place where reporters were being brought in 40 a week to talk to commanders. Now, if youíre not here for a trial they bring in maybe four a month.

What have you not seen that you want to see?
I want to see Camp 7. Thatís where they keep the sixteen men who were kept by CIA in the dark sites. The campís existence came up in a briefing by mistake, and no one has ever told me who built it, how much they paid for it, or who the contractor was. They take us here year after year and they call it safe, legal, humane, and transparent detention, and they systematically keep us out of a place that holds the people who were held in dark sites. Iím not saying to them "I want to go in and interview Khalid Sheikh Mohammed." But you have to ask who is running it and why it has to be such a secret.
- See more at: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/02/carol-rosenberg-reporting-from-guantanamo-bay.html

Tom Toles Rant- Tiddly winks edition

By Tom Toles
The GOP can do whatever it pleases. Itís a free country, as they never tire of telling us, with regard to semi-automatic arsenal-building, anyway. If they want to spend their time alienating larger and larger swathes of the electorate, and guaranteeing smaller and smaller numbers of elected officials, less power to them, I say!

But my message today is not to them, itís to you. The GOP, in itís determination to fight to their last breath against the now-clear tide of history, has decided in their death thoes to wreck what could be described (and now barely remembered) as a normally functioning government, and the economy into the bargain! A Grand Bargain that! A normally functioning government gives minority players a role and some of what they want. What it does NOT do is repeatedly lock into rigor mortis in an attempt by the minority to deny the majority-endorsed election results. Thatís what is happening now. And yes, it is starting to slow the economy down. This affects you, your job, your kidsí prospects, your health care and retirement and everything else that a growing economy enables and a not-growing economy doesnít.

They will not win this fight. They will yield, enough, and eventually. The sight of a significant clump of Republicans endorsing GAY MARRIAGE of all things, tells you that all their brow-mopping lectures about bedrock moral priciples, true and unchangeable, is just so much pulpit posturing. What a surprise that politicians could posture. I saw John Boehner talking to Scott Pelley about his budget ďconvictions.Ē It was pretty clear to me Boehner was lying. His whole manner had the look of someone forced to take a public position without real conviction. For this I actually thank him. Politicians used to regularly signal insincerity as part of the whole dance of politics. This is actually a favor to the process. Itís when politicians drop the wink and nod and start sounding like Elmer Gantry that the true trouble starts. But the obviousness of his lying is the ONLY thing I thank him for. The GOP is now engaged, Boehner out in front, with tear-streaked cheeks, in a process of throwing their office furniture into the gears of the economy, and that makes it not a game anymore. Thatís sabotage. The public, who prefers to look at Washington as a distant, always-dysfunctional source of entertainment, needs to decide how they feel about the fact that the long fingers of movement-conservatism are currently wrapped around the windpipe of YOUR economy, and whether you are just going to wink and nod off.


Toon- Scalia in "The Injustice of Racial Entitlements"

It's scary how right this is

(if image doesn't load, click on link)


Pie Chart- Conservative Christian Facebook Posts


Weekend Toons




Mars Rover Curiosity Has First Big Malfunction

Marc Kaufman
for National Geographic News
Published March 1, 2013

The Mars rover Curiosity experienced its first significant malfunction on Wednesday, when one of its two onboard computers became corrupted and failed to turn off and enter "sleep mode" as planned.

The Curiosity team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory sent up commands to switch all operations from the corrupted A computer to the twin B computer early Thursday morning, according to a Thursday NASA statement.

Most spacecraft have a backup computer to step in if the primary computer fails. (Related: Meet One of Curiosity's Earthbound Twins.)

Richard Cook, project manager for the Curiosity project, said the problem was the most serious experienced by the rover so far in its nearly 7 months on the red planet.

Cook said the team was most concerned Wednesday night, before they got a handle on the nature of the problem. But once they began to understand better, it became clear that switching to the other computer was necessary and unlikely to have long-term consequences.

He said he hoped Curiosity would resume science work in about a week.



Friday TOON Roundup 5- The Rest





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