Monday, April 14, 2008
Scientists have pled for action to be taken to prevent these strikes for years, and recently some steps have been taken in the right direction. For years, the whales were tracked using airplanes or boats and were then plotted onto charts to give ships the "best idea" of where the animals might be. However, these tracking trips were frequently prevented by weather or budget issues so were rarely accurate.Stellwagen bank has recently installed a series of bouys lining the shipping lanes, as reported by The Boston Globe. These bouys listen for the signature sounds that Right Whales make underwater and send a signal to oncoming ships that the animals are in the area. This gives the ship a chance to slow down or change course to avoid killing one of the precious whales. To see the bouys in actions, check out the video from The Boston Globe here.
This comes as an answer to the controversy about changing the routes of the shipping lanes. Scientists claimed that this was the safest option for the animals, while shipping conglomerates complained of the costs it would incur. Nevertheless, lanes have been moved, both in Stellwagen Bank and in Canada, showing a victory for scientists involved with preventing the extinction of Right Whales.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Phil Sears/Associated Press, The New York Times
As far as I'm concerned you have to be totally cracked to attempt this. However, people obviously don't agree with me. The cross-country courses can run for miles over uneven terrain and include up to 40 jumps meant to immitate "natural conditions." The problem lately, is that even coordinators have been raising the difficultly of these courses to the point where some have argued that even the best in the world can't handle them. The deaths of 12 eventing riders in the past 18 months has raised concerns over the sport.
Some safety measures have been discussed, but for the most part are not used. Pins have been designed to help the jumps collapse if the horse does not clear them, but the pins are expensive and generally not used.
“It’s not galloping cross-country over natural obstacles anymore,” said Ilana Gareen, an amateur rider and assistant professor of community health at Brown in the New York Times article. “I liked the fact that you could go to eventing and just be a good rider, do well, and have fun.”
Some have argued that the excitement of the contest has attracted inexperienced and riders who are not ready for the intensity of the course.
“You have people who didn’t grow up fox hunting or going on wild rides the way we did,” said Mick Costello, an event rider who builds cross-country courses, to the New York Times. “They haven’t been used to tumbling falls. They get a thrill out of going fast, and a lot of them aren’t ready.”
While this is very likely true, the deaths and injuries of some of the best riders in the world may indicate other issues.
Last month an Olympic bronze medalist was nearly killed when his horse didn't clear a jump and somersaulted over onto the rider.
According to the Times: In a letter to members, Kevin Baumgardner, the president of the United States Eventing Association, wrote: “The overall trends, particularly over the last three years, are unmistakable and, in my view, totally unacceptable. I know that my concern that the sport has gotten off track is shared by many of our members, amateurs and professionals alike.”
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The New York Times article states,
"An Army investigation found that his death was due to improper grounding of the
electric pump that supplied water to the building, (Rep. Henry) Waxman said.
Maseth died after an electrical short in the pump sent a current through the
pipes, the California Democrat wrote in his letter."
In some cases, the families of the soldiers were given incorrect information regarding the manner of their loved-ones' death. Maseth's mother was originally told that her son was killed with a "small electrical device in the shower."
The electrocutions are being investigated, but the Army is denying any responsibility.