Monthly Archives: July 2010

No Bugs On Me: The Rap Guide to Human Nature

That is a preview of a track from the latest (peer-reviewed) project from the highly evolved rapper Baba Brinkman:

As Baba announced on his Facebook page earlier today:
Human Nature Tracks are now available for preview on my Facebook page. Full album available for download by donation August 1st.
So what are you waiting for? The rhythmic key to human nature is in your virtual hands (or will soon be) – start with the other songs previewed on Baba’s Facebook page!
Meanwhile, I’m hoping he brings this show to Fresno, perhaps for the next Rogue Festival.

Greed and Cowardice: two old friends who will accompany us as we drive off the global warming cliff

Who or what eventually killed the (weak to begin with, and further weakened through the legislative “process”) climate change bill in the US congress? Asks Paul Krugman, and identifies the same age-old enemies who keep us from practicing responsible planetary citizenship:

The answer is, the usual suspects: greed and cowardice.

If you want to understand opposition to climate action, follow the money. The economy as a whole wouldn’t be significantly hurt if we put a price on carbon, but certain industries — above all, the coal and oil industries — would. And those industries have mounted a huge disinformation campaign to protect their bottom lines.

Look at the scientists who question the consensus on climate change; look at the organizations pushing fake scandals; look at the think tanks claiming that any effort to limit emissions would cripple the economy. Again and again, you’ll find that they’re on the receiving end of a pipeline of funding that starts with big energy companies, like Exxon Mobil, which has spent tens of millions of dollars promoting climate-change denial, or Koch Industries, which has been sponsoring anti-environmental organizations for two decades.

Or look at the politicians who have been most vociferously opposed to climate action. Where do they get much of their campaign money? You already know the answer.

By itself, however, greed wouldn’t have triumphed. It needed the aid of cowardice — above all, the cowardice of politicians who know how big a threat global warming poses, who supported action in the past, but who deserted their posts at the crucial moment.

Read the rest of his column. And, as usual, try not to get depressed… but here’s another article from the same paper of record to nudge you further in that direction:

IF President Obama and Congress had announced that no financial reform legislation would pass unless Goldman Sachs agreed to the bill, we would conclude our leaders had been standing in the Washington sun too long. Yet when it came to addressing climate change, that is precisely the course the president and Congress took. Lacking support from those most responsible for the problem, they have given up on passing a major climate bill this year.

Lee Wasserman, of the Rockefeller Family Foundation, goes on to identify four threads that were woven together to produce this tapestry of legislative inaction. Do you know which thread your are clinging to? Might I suggest thread #4 (presuming readers of my tiny blog are not very likely to overlap with the first three)? What are we going to do about it?

Is there a polite way to say no when a leopard seal offers you penguins for dinner?

[Hat-tip: Janaki Lenin]

Mitticool: now that’s a truly cool earth-friendly refrigerator!


Wouldn’t you want the above cool fridge, instead of the electricity guzzling, ozone-hole-punching (hopefully not, but they’re still out there), global warming behemoth you may have in your kitchen? Well…

Rediff has the story and slideshow of the entrepreneur who has developed this indigenous appropriate technology for rural India.

[Tip o’ hat to Arvind Says via Facebook]

Is it really this strange to see Indians camping?

And I mean real Indians, like me, from the country of India. Not Native American Indians, whom you expect to find camping in teepees anyway – right?!.

I ask because, on the second evening of our recent camping trip in Rocky Mountain National Park, an American neighbor walked into our site wearing a t-shirt from India (which he used to strike up the conversation), and started talking about his travels in India and so forth. Both our families hit it off so well that we ended up roasting s’mores together by the campfire that night. But one of the first things he remarked upon was how unusual it was to see an Indian (i.e., from India) family camping at all!! Which is why I felt we must invite them over for s’mores later – because how often is that going to happen, right? Eating s’mores roasted on a campfire by Indians? 🙂

Funny as that struck us all, I wonder how much truth there is to the observation that Indians don’t go camping much in this country. I mean, I know some who do – but that’s my friends. What about the rest of them(us)? Case in point: in our 17 days on the road when we visited / camped at 5 National Parks/Monuments through Colorado and Utah, we only ran into one other Indian family (not counting our friends whom we had invited to join us in the Rockies) camping – an astrophysicist from Bombay and his mom who was visiting him; i.e., another academic, whom we might as well count among the small circle of our friends who camp. What about “regular” Indian immigrants in the US? How many are “outdoor nature freaks” – as another young Indian friend (a not-camping type of fellow) teased us on this trip?

Anyhow, I was reminded of this:

Come to think of it, we didn’t see too many Black folks on this camping/road trip through the wilderness either!

Galapagos! Through Scott Hatfield’s lens.

Here are some photos I’ve prepared for the Fresno Bee concerning a possible article about my Galapagos trip.  Enjoy!


Posted via email from Darwin’s Bulldogs

The remarkable story of the Himalayan Snowcock in Nevada

There’s been an interesting discussion thread developing on delhibirdpix about Indian birds introduced to America, and someone mentioned the snowcock brought from the Himalaya to the Ruby mountains in Nevada. So I figured I should repost the following I’d written last year when I couldn’t find a way to embed the video on my old blogger blog. Here it is again, this time with video:


Himalayan Snowcock 25april09

A Himalayan Snowcock (Tetraogallus himalayensis) in the Ruby Mountains in Nevada.

Via the American Birding Association comes a remarkable, ancient, video about the introduction of the Himalayan Snow Partridge (as the film refers to it, although the actual species is the Himalayan Snowcock) into the mountains of Nevada by the Nevada Fish and Game Commission’s Exotic Game Bird Introduction program, a sustained effort to populate what they thought were “game-deficient” areas of the state. Astonishing to a modern conservation biologist to see how cavalier, nay gung-ho, government agencies were about moving species around in those days (the snowcock was brought over in the 1960s), well before introduced/invasive species became bêtes noire for conservationists. But that program was successful and there is now a small but established population of these snowcocks in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada! Check out the video on the ABA website.