Sunday Reads: Babushkas, Ruptured Pipes and Cookie Cutter SharksPosted: July 3, 2011
Good Sunday Morning, with Fourth of July coming up I wanted to post some songs that make me think of America…and just a note…they all aren’t meant to be patriotic.
First, I gotta give you the Godfather of Soul! James Brown…Living in America
This next one from John Cougar Mellencamp, Pink Houses for you and me…
One more…Billy Joel’s Allentown.
Okay, now for your morning reads.
This is something I thought only happened in the Gulf of Mexico or an Alaskan waters, but to see the black slime coating the banks of the Yellowstone river, that is just so sad. Ruptured Pipeline Spills Oil Into Yellowstone River – NYTimes.com
Larry Mayer/The Billings Gazette, via Associated Press
An ExxonMobil pipeline running under the Yellowstone River in south central Montana ruptured late Friday, spilling crude oil into the river and forcing evacuations.
The pipeline burst about 10 miles west of Billings, coating parts of the Yellowstone River that run past Laurel — a town of about 6,500 people downstream from the rupture — with shiny patches of oil. Precisely how much oil leaked into the river was still unclear. But throughout the day Saturday, cleanup crews in Laurel worked to lessen the impact of the spill, laying down absorbent sheets along the banks of the river to mop up some of the escaped oil, and measuring fumes to determine the health threat.
The leaking pipe has been shut down, and only leaked for about a half an hour according to the article. What a mess…
Boston Boomer sent me this link yesterday, and it gives some insight into a new group in London that is working on getting more women in the boardroom. 30% Club aims to end male domination of business culture | Business | The Observer
Securing a seat at the top table in British business used to involve belonging to the right gentleman’s club and working on your golf handicap with the company chairman. However, at Cass Business School in London on Monday, a new organisation – the “30% Club” – will pledge to throw open the doors of the boardroom to the many talented women who have been locked out for decades.
This reminds me of the recent SCOTUS case about discrimination at Walmart.
She says that can sometimes be because women choose to opt out to pursue caring responsibilities once they have children – but, just as often, it is a rejection of the workplace culture. “It’s to do with organisational cultures that are abrasive for women: they may be very aggressive, they may be macho, there may be micro-inequities,” she says.
Women who have already made it to the top also stress the importance of mentoring promising female staff from the beginning of their careers. Debbie Klein, chief executive of communications group Engine, says: “It’s about how to develop the talent pool so you don’t lose people at the level just below the board.
“It’s about recognising their talent in the first place and saying, ‘we’re really going to nurture that’.”
Amen to that…
This next link was just plain interesting, and very strange…Attack of the Cookie Cutter Shark! | Mother Jones
Ouch. All bite and no bark.
The first ever recorded instance of a human bitten by a cookie cutter shark is described in a paper now online in early view in Pacific Science. An unfortunate human swimmer on a 47.5 kilometer/29.5 mile haul across the Alenuihaha Channel between the Hawaiian islands of Hawai‘i and Maui got nailed twice by this fearsomely ninjalike denizen of the deep, Isistiussp.If you’ve spent any time at sea outside polar waters, chances are you’ve seen the toothwork of this gnarly little predator. It leaves deep round scars on whales, dolphins, tuna, billfishes, squids, and other larger marine life.
(Two cookie cutter shark bites in a pomfret. Credit: PIRO-NOAA Observer Program via Wikimedia Commons.)
As Kramer used to say: Nature, she is a mad scientist… and never more so than with the hunting technique devised by the cookie cutter shark.
Give the article a look-see, very cool.
From Minx’s Missing Link File: Babushkas Are Awesome! | Care2 Causes Anything with Babushkas in the title gets my attention.
A group of elderly women, or “babushkas,” from the village of Buranovo, 600 miles east of Moscow, is totally changing the image of the elderly woman in Russia.
This group of women, mostly in their 70s and 80s, are a musical sensation, reports NPR, charming audiences across Russia. They sing Beatles tunes and songs by iconic Russian rocker Viktor Tsoi. They fly around the country for concerts. They made it to the Russian finals of the Eurovision music contest.
You can watch the Babushkas get their groove on thanks to YouTube!
Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week: Greenland Norse Knowledge of the North Atlantic Environment – Medievalists.net
Introduction: The arcing Norse expansion across the subpolar North Atlantic ocean traces an inspiring tale of a stoic struggle against the elements. The sequence of accidental discovery, then deliberate exploration and settlement, repeated in turn as Faroe, Iceland, and Greenland were colonised between 825 and 985AD. With each step further west, the difficulty of leading a contemporary Norwegian lifestyle increased. In part, the increasing hardship is linked to the increasing distance from European power, and the dwindling access to essential commodities. Contact with alien native communities is another factor, and it was decisive in obstructing long-term Norse settlements in North America. But at almost every stage, the much colder, more polar, climate in Iceland, Greenland, and eastern Canada dominated the Atlantic Norse decision-making.
Despite the rigours of the climate, the Norse constructed a society in Greenland that endured for nearly 500 years. In total, perhaps 70,000 people lived in the eastern and western settlements in southwest Greenland. Eventually, the farms were abandoned, however, sometime in the mid-to-late 1300s for the western settlement, and sometime in the mid-to-late 1400s for the eastern settlement. The reasons for the disappearance of the Norse settlers has long been debated, and uncontroversial evidence that resolves this issue has not yet been found. What is clear instead is that the Greenland Norse maintained an intimate daily relationship with the North Atlantic environment. Although they did not adopt the native Inuit strategies to survive, the Norse farmed, fished, hunted, and sailed in Greenland with confidence and skill for many generations. Their attitude is presumably reflected in the modern northern Norwegian saying “Vi står han av” (meaning “we stand tall, regardless of stormy weather”; Grete Hovelsrud, pers. comm., 2009).
There is a real cool image of a medieval map of Greenland at the link above, if you find this article interesting, give this other link a peek: Norse Greenland Settlement: Reflections on Climate Change, Trade, and The Contrasting Fates of Human Settlements in the North Atlantic Islands – Medievalists.net
I hope everyone has a safe day tomorrow. Be sure to post some links below, or just tell us what you are doing this long weekend…