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Interesting and Fascinating

Dr. Wendy Ring: The Scotia Biomass power plant operation needs to be shut down

Presentation from Dr. Wendy Ring on the carbon emissions, pollution, and health hazards of the Scotia biomass-burning electrical power plant. 21 minute video plus 15-minutes reading material.

In India: Drug given to cattle killed 90% of the vultures. Result: 500,000 human deaths

Reading time: 3 minutes -- Nine species of vulture can be found living in India, but most are now in danger of extinction after a rapid and major population collapse in recent decades. The vulture population has dropped 99% -- from 40 million to 19,000. The result: Rotting cow carcasses, spreading disease, and over 500,000 human deaths.

The flag of Brazil: “Love, Order, and Progress” — but “Love” was left out

A brief history of the Flag of Brazil. In 1899, the old monarchy's coat of arms was replaced with an orb with the positivist motto “Love, Order and Progress” -- but “Love” was left out because of a lack of space.

What We Owe Our Trees – The New Yorker magazine

"Even if you haven’t been to the woods lately, you probably know that the forest is disappearing. In the past ten thousand years, the Earth has lost about a third of its forest, which wouldn’t be so worrying if it weren’t for the fact that almost all that loss has happened in the past three hundred years or so. As much forest has been lost in the past hundred years as in the nine thousand before"

The Gish Gallop — and Brandolini’s Law

Brandolini's law, also known as the B.S. Asymmetry Principle, is an internet adage that emphasizes the effort of debunking misinformation, in comparison to the relative ease of creating it in the first place.  It states that the amount of energy needed to refute B.S. is an order of magnitude larger (that is, ten times larger) than is needed to produce it. -------- The Gish Gallop is a rhetorical technique in which a person attempts to overwhelm their opponents by providing an excessive number of arguments with no regard for the accuracy or strength of those arguments.

“Gulliver’s Travels” map from 1726 depicts Arcata and the Brobdingnagian Gateway Plan

Is the Gateway Plan an example of how "the can-do spirit of the times that led people to devise a number of illogical schemes that would purportedly solve social and economic ills." ****** See Arcata on a fictional map from the 1726 satirical novel "Gulliver's Travels."

Dan Duncan: “2022 Arcata: 18 Ways of looking at a City”

Daniel Duncan is a retired contractor and present-time architectural commentator who has lived here in Arcata for over 50 years. His articles on Arcata planning, housing, and design appeared first in the Mad River Union, and now the eighteen articles from 2022 have been collected in his new book. Dan's book is available now at Northtown Books in Arcata and Booklegger in Eureka. The price is $10.

The Three Perceptives – a Sufi tale

Idries Shah (1924-1996) was a prolific was a prolific Indian author and teacher in the Sufi tradition. Emphasizing that Sufism was not static but always adapted itself to the current time, place and people, he framed his teaching in Western psychological terms. Shah made extensive use of traditional teaching stories and parables, texts that contained multiple layers of meaning designed to trigger insight and self-reflection in the reader.

The Tale of Melon City

"The Tale of Melon City" is a parable of a well-meaning king whose desire for justice becomes confused by questions of responsibility and blame. --- "The ruler of a certain city one day decided that he would like a triumphal arch built, so that he could ride under it with all pomp, for the desirable edification of the multitude. But when the great moment came, his crown was knocked off: The arch had been built too low."

Bike Sharing in China makes for BIG problems – See the photos!

Almost everything in China is done on a scale that is just about unimaginable for us. So what happens when bike-sharing companies that own millions of bikes go out of business? The photos here tell the story.

Windowless bedrooms? Sunlight is considered a luxury benefit

In recent years, windowless bedrooms have become somewhat normalized on college campuses. Students at the University of Texas, Austin and the University of Michigan are currently renting dorm bedrooms without windows. Sunlight in your bedroom could become a luxury as cities debate allowing landlords to rent windowless rooms in former office buildings to alleviate the housing crisis.

Moi goes to Washington

In the Ecuadorian Amazon, indigenous Huaorani people waged an exhausting battle against the American petroleum interests that have begun drilling for two hundred million barrels of raw crude under their lands. Then Moi, a Huaorani leader, decided to try the diplomatic route.

With Spears from all Sides

The Huaorani are an ancient tribe whose survival is threatened by American oil development in the Ecuadorian Amazon. They endured missionary zeal, corporate encroachment, and American environmentalist campaigns claiming to represent their interests. Then the Huaorani tried to save themselves.

“The Old Way” – A story of lions in the Kalahari Desert

"In the nineteen-fifties, when I was in my late teens and early twenties, I lived for some years among the Juwa and Gikme Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert. I went there with my parents, Laurence and Lorna Marshall, and my brother, John, to record the Bushmen's way of life. My own interest was in the lions (leopology, I liked to say), but I had little time to pursue that interest in those busy days. Under any circumstances, though, lions are hard to ignore, so I was able to glean some data on them."