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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Obama administration has developed a five-year blueprint for rescuing the Great Lakes, a sprawling ecosystem plagued by toxic contamination, shrinking wildlife habitat and invasive species. The plan envisions spending more than $2.2 billion for long-awaited repairs after a century of damage to the lakes, which hold 20 percent of the world’s fresh water. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the document, which Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, was releasing at a news conference Sunday in Washington. Read more
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Rain, low clouds and predicted high winds Sunday grounded searchers seeking the body of a ConocoPhillips Alaska employee missing and presumed dead in an avalanche that killed the head of the company. The avalanche at around noon Saturday on the Kenai Peninsula buried Jim Bowles, 57, head of ConocoPhillips Alaska, and Alan Gage, 39, part of the company’s capital projects team in Anchorage. Gage remains missing. “The weather is not cooperating and it’s not conducive to search,” said Megan Peters, a spokeswoman for the Alaska State Troopers. Read more
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Government officials and Illinois businesses are overstating the economic pain that would result from closing Chicago-area shipping locks to block the Asian carp’s path to the Great Lakes, two transportation specialists said Thursday. Read more
SYDNEY (AP) — Forget cricket bats, golf clubs and carbon dioxide. Australia has found a new weapon in its war on the dreaded cane toad: cat food. Researchers with the University of Sydney found that a few tablespoons of cat food left next to ponds in the Northern Territory attracts fierce Australian meat ants, which then attack baby cane toads as they emerge from the water. The results of the study were published in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology this week.
It is the latest weapon in Australia’s seemingly endless battle against the cane toad, which was introduced from Hawaii in 1935 in an unsuccessful attempt to control beetles on sugarcane plantations. The toads bred rapidly, and their millions-strong population now threatens many species across Australia. Read more
I know this is not really outdoor related, but a lot of outdoors man and woman claim to see them. (Feb. 18) — The minister in charge of domestic law enforcement and passports in Britain is used to close scrutiny. But the government figured it was worth an extra look when six witnesses swore they saw a UFO hovering over his house. That was one of more 1,600 “unexplained aerial sightings” reported in the U.K. from 1994 to 2000 and described in more than 6,000 pages of formerly secret papers released today by the British Ministry of Defense.
The 1997 incident was taken seriously enough that the Royal Air Force began an immediate investigation of what witnesses, including two firefighters, reported as a large, triangular “humming” object seen over a house owned by then-Home Secretary Michael Howard. The object was described as being much bigger than a plane, with lights around the outside and a disc on the back, fitting a classic description of UFOs reported around the world.
“It was so peculiar,” one witness told a local paper, “it all felt really odd, and I heard this humming noise. After a few seconds it shot off, leaving in a flash of light.” It then returned, flashing off again three or four times, she added, before disappearing altogether.
The RAF concluded that nothing unusual had happened and no military activity had been reported in the area, in Folkestone, Kent, overlooking the English Channel. In another incident, a man driving in Wales on Jan. 27, 1997, said he was surrounded for five minutes by a “tube of light” that swept toward him. His radio and cell phone stopped working, and he later felt ill and developed a skin condition, the report said.
Two years earlier the pilots of a Boeing 737 reported a “near miss” with a UFO as they were approaching Manchester airport. Both pilots said they saw a lighted object flying at high speed toward them on the airliner’s right side. Again, no unusual traffic activity was reported in the area, and the Ministry of Defense report said it could find no evidence of extraterrestrial activity.
According to The Guardian, the reports released today reflect the ministry’s “growing irritation with the subject.” The next batch of reports is scheduled to be released next year, and they will be the last. On Dec. 1, the ministry announced it would no longer be investigating UFO sightings reported by the public.
LONDON (Feb. 19) — The Italian region of Tuscany is famed for gastronomic delights like bistecca alla Fiorenta (a 3-inch-thick steak marinated in olive and garlic) and ribollita, a hearty broth of borlotti beans and cabbage. But earlier this week, the hugely popular host of an Italian cookery show was suspended from state television for lauding one of Tuscany’s lesser-known treats: gatto in umido. For non-Italian speakers, that’s cat stew.
Giuseppe “Beppe” Bigazzi shocked the nation when he unexpectedly began praising the pleasures of feline flesh on his late-morning program “La Prova del Cuoco” (The Proof of the Cook). The 77-year-old TV chef revealed his kitty cravings after noting how some Tuscans had boiled up stray cats in the poverty-stricken years following World War II.
Dominik Podolsky, 22, of Munich, was stuck on a ski lift when it shut down for the day, with the temperature -18C. As darkness fell, he began to burn paper handkerchiefs and the contents of his wallet with a cigarette lighter. He started with restaurant bills and business cards before he was spotted burning the last of 120 euros in cash. Mr Podolsky was taking the lift down the mountain on Saturday when he became trapped about 10m (33ft) above ground. Read more
Susan Argyros and Eileen Watson were determined to conquer their 48th and final 4,000-footer together. They just didn’t think they’d get lost and spend the night in the woods along the way. Yet that’s how the journey unfolded for the friends, who spent Monday night near the Lincoln Woods Trail in the shadow of Owl’s Head Mountain after they became disoriented around nightfall while making their descent. Read more
A new rule in effect Monday will end nearly a century-old ban on firearms in America’s national parks and wildlife refuges. Visitors can bring concealed, loaded guns with them on vacation if they are legal under the laws of the state they are in. Some 40 states allow people to carry firearms with a permit. The park service website will provide links to state websites so visitors can check what rules apply. The change passed on a bipartisan vote last May as an amendment to an Obama administration credit card reform bill. It grew out of changes sought in the final months by the Bush administration.
“This new rule is welcome,” said National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. “Violent crimes do occur in our national parks, which have become havens for drug trafficking and drug production. It’s reasonable for law-abiding people to have the means to protect themselves from predators, whether it’s the four-legged or two-legged variety.”
PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is hosting a series of public forums followed by open houses across the state to allow constituents an opportunity to provide their input, learn about the process, and then see the preliminary hunt recommendation package before it is set by the commission in April. Read more
Winter is still with us and many areas not used to severe winter weather are getting hit and it is staying cold. If you don’t know the threat cold weather brings, you can’t work well in it or take care of common problems like you can in a more temperate climate. Throughout history even our troops have not been immune to cold weather. Read more
The Marine Times reports that the USMC have adopted the new SOST (Special Operations Science and Technology) 5.56mm ammunition to replace the standard M855 …
The open-tipped rounds until now have been available only to Special Operations Command troops. The first 200,000 5.56mm Special Operations Science and Technology rounds are already downrange with Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, said Brig. Gen. Michael Brogan, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command. Commonly known as “SOST” rounds, they were legally cleared for Marine use by the Pentagon in late January, according to Navy Department documents obtained by Marine Corps Times.
SOCom developed the new rounds for use with the Special Operations Force Combat Assault Rifle, or SCAR, which needed a more accurate bullet because its short barrel, at 13.8 inches, is less than an inch shorter than the M4 carbine’s. Using an open-tip match round design common with some sniper ammunition, SOST rounds are designed to be “barrier blind,” meaning they stay on target better than existing M855 rounds after penetrating windshields, car doors and other objects.
The full name and designation of the round is the MK 318 MOD 0 “Cartridge, Caliber 5.56mm Ball, Carbine, Barrier”. The 62 grain bullet was designed by Federal / ATK. It features an open tip with lead at the front and a thick copper base. The lead is designed to defeat barriers and the copper to penetrate the barrier.
Many have said that it closely resembles the Federal Trophy Bonded Bearclaw bullet. Personally I think the similarities are superficial.
It should be noted that the bullet is open tip, not hollow point. Bartholomew Roberts explains …
It isn’t a hollow point. It is an Open-Tip Match round much like the M118LR. The jacket is drawn from the base (instead of the cheaper method of jacket drawn from the nose and an exposed lead base) to the tip of the bullet. The tiny little hole there is just a remnant from jacketing the bullet that way. It isn’t designed for expansion or calculated to cause unnecessary suffering, so it doesn’t violate the Hague conventions
The load has been optimized for ballistic performance and reduced muzzle flash from short barrels. From a 14″ barrel is achieves 2925 fps.
A 7.62mm version of this round, the MK 319 MOD 0, has also been developed. It also has been optimized for short barrels (16″) but also for reduced recoil. I have not heard of any adoption outside the special forces. Via Firearms Blog
The body of a veteran climber who fell 1,500 feet into the crater atop Mount St. Helens has been recovered after he spent more than a day in the snow, authorities said Tuesday. Clouds and wind had hampered efforts to reach Joseph Bohlig, 52, who was posing for a picture Monday on the rim of the dormant crater when a snow overhang gave way and he fell into the volcano. “We’re sorry that he’s gone, that he didn’t make it,” said Richard Bohlig, the climber’s 84-year-old father. “He was doing something he enjoyed very much. That’s all I can say.” Family members had gathered in Bohlig’s hometown of Kelso, Wash., to await word on the search. Read more
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The dogs in New Orleans’ Carnival pet parade included a pooch that hitched a ride 1,200 miles from Taos, New Mexico, to the city where his 26-year-old master had hitchhiked weeks earlier. Stephan Soleas came to New Orleans for a few weeks of visits and music. He said his 6-year-old Labrador mix, Charlie, went missing days after he left. Charlie was found by a couple vacationing in Taos. The couple saw a collarless dog and tried to find its owner, but the veterinarian didn’t have a microchip scanner. The couple gave up their airline tickets, rented a car and made the 3-day drive back to New Orleans with the dog. Incidentally, they also named the dog Charlie. Soleas and Charlie were reunited 10 days later — Feb. 5 — when Magazine Street Animal Clinic co-owner Teresa Gernon checked a microchip in the white dog’s neck. Two days later, they were in the Krewe of Barkus pet parade.
People with real-world experience agree that a break-open, single-shot, 12-gauge shotgun the least expensive, most handy and versatile firearm that anyone can own. A subsistence farmer or outdoors-man doesn’t want a heavy duck gun or tactical shotgun. When on foot or out doing chores you aren’t going to carry several hundred 12-gauge shells which only take 9 rounds to weigh a pound. Instead, you take what you need for the day and to get you back home. Typically you will carefully make a box or two of ammo last for as long a time as possible, especially if your ammo re-supply is a great distance away. We are speaking here of a meat getter, predator eliminator and home defense gun. Low cost, safety, simplicity, ruggedness, durability, ease of carry, fast handling and versatility are essential attributes. What other firearm can you get for about $100 used or less than $200 new which does so much? Read more