Bulletproof Boars

Wild boars invade New York state; kill pets, chase people

A wild boar in an image courtesy of the New York Invasive Species Council. REUTERS/Handout

By Ray Sanchez

NEW YORK | Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:51am EDT

(Reuters) – Wild boar are invading the farms of central New York state, attacking livestock, killing family pets, chasing people and posing “devastating consequences” for the area, federal officials warn.

The feral swine are a non-native species suspected of escaping from game farms, and as many as a couple of hundred are roaming the state, said Paul Curtis, a natural resources professor at Cornell University.

While an exact picture of the wild boar population in New York State is unclear, a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the swine were successfully breeding in the three counties and producing litters averaging 4 to 6 piglets.

“We’ve shot probably 15 to 20 of them in the last three years,” said Peter Andersen, a third generation farmer in Long Eddy in Sullivan County.

Noting how difficult it is to kill the wild boar, Andersen described what sounded like a scene from a horror movie that could be called “Robo-Swine.”

“We’ve shot them right square in the head and the bullet will glance off and they’ll get up and go. Their skulls are so thick in the front, if you don’t happen to hit it at a perfect 90 degrees, with the way their heads have that kind of curved shape, the bullet will glance right off,” he said.

Armed with a $230,000 grant from the Invasive Species Council of New York, the USDA last year sought to get a handle on the growing wild boar problem.

According to a USDA report, 27 of the interlopers were trapped or shot and tested for diseases in Cortland, Onondaga and Tioga counties. Two of the animals tested positive for the pseudorabies virus, or PRV.

“In the absence of aggressive professional management, these populations will likely continue their expansion and become entrenched in New York State with potentially devastating consequences to natural resources, agriculture, and human health and safety,” the report said.

There have been no reports of feral swine attacks on humans but the animals can be aggressive, experts said. Wild boar can grow up to 400 pounds, with sharp tusks.

USDA biologist Justin Gansowski said the swine have reportedly attacked livestock, killed a Labrador retriever and chased people in New York state.

Said Cornell’s Curtis, “There’s always the potential for attacks on people… They have four-inch tusks that are very sharp and they can be aggressive, particularly the adult males, and charge a pet or a person if they feel trapped. They can slash with those tusks and create pretty deep gashes and wounds.”

Gansowski said a lack of funding was the biggest obstacle to preventing the population from exploding. The federal agency applied for new grant money to deal with feral swine but has yet to receive an answer on the application. Traps used to capture the swine are expensive and costly to maintain.

“There needs to be more funding,” he said. “That’s currently why we only have one person, which is me. With the explosive nature of the feral swine population, our time frame to do something is now.”

Andersen, the farmer in Sullivan County, agreed that additional funding was needed for eradication efforts as well as stricter regulations for game preserves that keep wild boar. For now, Andersen said, the state is losing the battle against the husky invaders.

Desperate residents have formed informal networks to report sightings and call rifle owners to eliminate the swine.

“We have a lot of older retired folks who don’t have guns,” Andersen said. “They call us and hopefully we get there in time to take care of the matter.”

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)

Original Article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/29/us-wildboar-newyork-idUSTRE76S3I220110729

Published in: on 30 July, 2011 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Walmart Wonder

Jacob Simmons and Gentry Lee Sutherland, an engaged couple from Anderson County, South Carolina were shocked to see the face of Jesus looking out at them from a Walmart receipt. They had bought some pictures from the store on June 12th and left the receipt in Sutherland’s apartment. Three days later, Simmons was leaving the kitchen after the couple had returned from a church service and noticed the receipt on the floor. “I was leaving the kitchen and I just looked on the floor and it was like it was looking at me.” said Simmons.

“We had a message on knowing God, abiding in him,” said Sutherland. “If you know God, would you recognize him if you saw him?”

The couple deny tampering with the receipt and hope that it will show Jesus to everyone who sees it.

This story is similar to many that purport to show images of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and icons from other religions on mundane objects. Assuming that the couple are genuine, they doubtless feel specially blessed to have been singled out as recipients of such a miracle but there are a few questions that are worth raising:

Firstly, many people will see the image of Jesus in this receipt, however, not one of them will know what Jesus actually looked like. There are no useful descriptions of Jesus from Biblical texts and no evidence beyond these texts that he even existed in the first place. No historian living during the alleged lifetime of Jesus gives any mention at all to him. (And, before anyone mentions Josephus Flavius – he wasn’t even born until 37CE and wrote Antiquities in 93CE which is later than the Gospels!). So, no-one knows what Jesus would have looked like but it is very doubtful that he would display the typical European features given to him by Christian artists over the centuries. So this being an image of Jesus is in the eye of the beholder.

Indeed, there are more direct comparisons that can be made of the image. It does bear a resemblance to self-proclaimed Messiah, Charles Manson. Not exactly a person whom any good Christian couple would wish to have staring at them from their kitchen floor.

To me it looks quite like the writer, Alan Moore, author of Watchmen, From Hell, V for Vendetta and many other successful graphic novels. And Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters. In fact, it looks like lots of people to me, but not Jesus – because I don’t know what he looked like.

Clockwise from top L; Walmart receipt, Alan Moore, 
Dave Grohl, Charles Manson

Would the real Messiah please stand up..?

As to the miracle of the appearing image – the receipt has been produced on a thermal till printer. This type of printer uses heat to print the characters on the receipt. Exposure to more heat will blacken the receipt. I have seen the result of this from leaving a petrol station receipt in my car on a sunny day. When I returned to the car, the receipt was completely black. So a receipt left in a place with sources of heat, for example, a kitchen, could easily darken through exposure to heat. As patterns form, our natural tendency to look for significance in these patterns, pareidolia, kicks in and we see faces. In this particular case, the image is a very clear formation and I can’t help suspecting that the image has been ‘helped along’.

Even if it hasn’t had human assistance, I do wonder about Jesus’ choice to manifest himself upon a Walmart till receipt. If we take what has been written about Him, I cannot see Him choosing to announce His presence on a product from a company that, amongst other things, practices money-lending. Jesus was very much against this sort of thing and the practice of lending money and charging interest, usuary, was always regarded as a terrible sin. Then there’s all the pork products. And guns.

I don’t think he’d like Walmart very much.

Assuming that Jesus looked like Robert Powell in 'Jesus of Nazareth', had he survived the crucifixion, he would have looked like this in his later years...

Maybe Walmart should start stocking these?

Published in: on 28 July, 2011 at 11:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Borg Chinchilla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinnies Rule Supreme! Prepare to be assimilated…

Published in: on 27 July, 2011 at 9:38 am  Leave a Comment  

The joy of pets…

Published in: on 26 July, 2011 at 9:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Watchmen

Published in: on 25 July, 2011 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Asymmetric quarks defy standard model of physics

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110723/full/news.2011.436.html?s=news_rss

Published in: on 23 July, 2011 at 7:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

RSPB response to badger cull

Badger emerging from sett

Environment secretary Caroline Spelman today (July 19) outlined the Government’s plans for tackling bovine TB through a cull of badgers in the south-west of England.

RSPB conservation director Martin Harper said: ‘Bovine TB is a very real and devastating issue for many farmers and it is vital we find an effective long term measure to eradicate this disease.

‘We therefore welcome the Government’s announcements on improving cattle testing, movement controls and biosecurity. However, the most reliable scientific evidence suggests badger culling is a short-term and unsustainable approach.

‘Allowing the shooting of free-ranging badgers in hot spot areas is an untested and dangerous move. It has no place in a science-led policy. Rather than solving the problem, it risks making matters worse by disrupting their social structures leading them to spread into new areas. We will not be culling badgers on our nature reserves.

‘Licensing the shooting of one of our best loved native species is likely to generate considerable public opposition.

‘A more sustainable approach to the problem should involve pushing forward with the injectable vaccination of badgers in areas in the South West and stepping up efforts to develop a vaccine for cattle.

‘Vaccination of both badgers and cattle, together with enhanced cattle testing and improved biosecurity measures, is the publicly acceptable, long-term solution.’

Original article: http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/284920-rspb-response-to-badger-cull

Published in: on 22 July, 2011 at 10:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Hitler Skull Revelation

Published in: on 20 July, 2011 at 8:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

10 Questions MPs will not ask Murdoch


Attempting to read the 10 Questions post, I noticed that the page was no longer available, obviously through some genuine problem with the web- why on earth would I suspect anything else? Luckily there is a cached version available so, in order to assist with this genuine problem, I am publishing the article written by Mr Beste on this Blog. Please feel free to retweet etc. Happy to help…

What was it about the relationship with Murdoch that made Tony Blair feel it was appropriate to take a phone call from a newspaper proprietor just hours prior to the most momentous decision a prime minister can make: ordering the country’s armed forces to war?


By Robin Beste
Stop the War Coalition
18 July 2011


When Rupert Murdoch appears before the parliamentary committee on 19 July 2011, here are ten questions the MPs certainly will not ask about the relationhip he had with Tony Blair during the run up to the Iraq war, when Murdoch was, in the words of Blair’s former press officer Lance Price, “the third most powerful figure in the Labour government”, after Blair himself and Gordon Brown.

  1. In 2002-3 all of your 127 newspapers around the world, with a combined circulation of 40 million a week, supported the Iraq war. We now know you were often in direct contact with the then prime minister Tony Blair, who you said at the time was “extraordinarily courageous and strong” and who had “shown great guts” in planning the war on Iraq. How much coordination was there between Downing Street  and News International on the media presentation of what was widely regarded as an illegal war?
  2. You said when interviewed in the run up to the war that Iraq’s oil was central to the rationale for overthrowing Saddam Hussein: “The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy…would be $20 a barrel for oil. That’s bigger than any tax cut in any country.” Tony Blair always insisted in public that Iraq’s oil played no part in the decision to attack Iraq. To what extent did he agree with you in private that getting control of the world’s second biggest oil reserves was at the heart of the war aims?
  3. All of your newspapers  used Tony Blair’s “dodgy dossier” of September 2002 to try and generate a war fever with the bogus claim that — in the words of The Sun headline — “BRITS 45 MINUTES FROM DOOM”. The hand of Alistair Campbell, Blair’s press officer, is widely regarded as having been responsible for the dossier’s fabrications. There was no coverage in the Sun or the rest of News International’s outlets, when it was revealed that some of this dossier, which was supposed to present a cast iron case for attacking Iraq, was drawn from a 12-year old thesis, published on the internet by a PhD student. Was this because you and Blair made a pact that News International would be relentless in promoting the war, even if this meant using lies and distortion?
  4. You spoke to Tony Blair by telephone on 11 March 2003, after the announcement by the then French prime minister Jacques Chirac that France would veto a second United Nations resolution sanctioning war against Iraq. Blair was banking on this resolution to help sell a war that was opposed by an overwhelming majority of the British public. The next day, the Sun wrote, “Like a cheap tart who puts price before principle, money before honour, Jacques Chirac struts the streets of shame. The French President’s vow to veto the second resolution at the United Nations – whatever it says – puts him right in the gutter.” To what extent did your conversation with Blair influence the co-ordinated attack on Chirac across all of your newspapers?
  5. You spoke again with Blair on 13 March 2003. The next day, the Sun intensified its vitriolic abuse of Chirac: “Charlatan Jacques Chirac is basking in cheap applause for his ‘Save Saddam’ campaign – but his treachery will cost his people dear. This grandstanding egomaniac has inflicted irreparable damage on some of the most important yet fragile structures of international order.” Did your conversation with Tony Blair reveal that the “grandstanding egomaniac” and “damage to the structures of international order” may have been more appropriately applied to him rather than to Chirac?
  6. Your third phone call with Tony Blair within nine days took place on 19 March 2003, the day before the Iraq war started. What was it about the relationship you had with Tony Blair that made him feel it was appropriate to take a phone call from a newspaper proprietor just hours prior to the most momentous decision a prime minister can make: ordering the country’s armed forces to war?
  7. When the United Nations inspectors under Hans Blix could find no evidence of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, the coverage in your newspapers bordered on hysteria — “HE’S GOT ‘EM. LET’S GET HIM” screamed the Sun headline. When it was later shown beyond dispute that the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq never existed, did you not feel that News International should have issued an apology for promoting a lie to justify an illegal war?
  8. You spoke to Tony Blair on January 29, 2004. This was the day after the Sun leaked extracts from the Hutton Report into the death of government scientist David Kelly, who had been hounded to suicide by Alistair Campbell and the Blair spin machine. Kelly had been revealed — almost certainly by a leak from Blair’s office — as the source of the BBC report that said the case for war had been “sexed up” in the “dodgy dossier”. The Hutton Report, since thoroughly discredited as a whitewash, said Blair and Campbell were — in the Sun’s words — “completely cleared of criticism”. No such fate for the chairman of the BBC Greg Dyke and chairman of the BBC governors Gavyn Davies, both of whom resigned, as Blair, Campbell and your newspapers took the opportunity to savage the BBC for broadcasting the “sexed up” claim. When you spoke to Tony Blair on 29 January, were you both gloating over a spin job well done through the leaking of the Hutton report to the Sun, arranged we must assume between Alistair Campbell and Rebekah Wade (now Brooks), who was then editor of the paper?
  9. You are renowned for putting the interests and the profits of your media empire above all other considerations. What payoff did News International get from Tony Blair for the unqualified support it gave for his illegal war in Iraq?
  10. Over one million people were killed in Iraq. Another four million were made refugees by the war. The country’s infrastructure was so devastated that even today, electricity is rationed for many Iraqis, many still do not have access to clean drinking water or a functioning sewage system, and the health service, which was once the most advanced in the region, now struggles to provide a decent level of care. I79 British soldiers were killed and hundreds more suffered life changing injuries. As a direct result of the war, Britain suffered terrorist atrocities on 7 July 2005, in which 52 people were killed. Does your conscience ever regret the key part that you and your newspapers played in promoting an illegal war which has brought such death and destruction to the Iraqi people, unbearable bereavement to the families of British soldiers sent to kill and be killed for a lie, and increased insecurity from the threat of terrorist attack to the people of Britain?
Published in: on 18 July, 2011 at 8:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bathtime

Published in: on 18 July, 2011 at 7:19 pm  Leave a Comment