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Tribute to Verplanck Colvin, pioneer to protect Nature; David McClure: Forever Wild statute of 1885; & Wilderness Act of 1964...

Superintendent of New York State Land Survey. An early advocate for the preservation of the Adirondacks, Verplanck Colvin became a force behind passage of the Forever Wild statute of 1885 and the establishment of the Park itself in 1892. Bottom right: One of the surveyor's marks Colvin left on dozens of peaks in the Adirondacks, this one on Big Slide Mountain

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"Unless the region be preserved essentially in its present wilderness condition, the ruthless burning and destruction of the forest will slowly, year after year, creep onward… and vast areas of naked rock, arid sand, and gravel will alone remain to receive the bounty of the clouds and be unable to retain it." - Verplanck Colvin, pioneer in environmental protection. The ‘Forever Wild’ Amendment was proposed by David McClure. This visionary accomplishment was the inspiration for those who drafted the 1964 Wilderness Act establishing the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Canada geese in a snowstorm over Hottes Lake, Iowa. Photograph: ruf_d/The Wilderness Society  read more »

Crop circles, in 1678: Mow'd by Infernal Spirit? No Mortal Man's able to do the like; in 1880: by rainfall, by wind?

Left: an English woodcut pamphlet published in 1678 called the ‘Mowing-Devil’: The image depicts a demon with a scythe mowing an oval design in a field of oats. Right: A crop circle in a field of oilseed rape at Roundway Hill, Wiltshire. Bottom: Crop circles are pretty cool

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The earliest recorded image resembling a crop circle is depicted in an English woodcut pamphlet published in 1678 called the "Mowing-Devil". The image depicts a demon with a scythe mowing an oval design in a field of oats. The pamphlet's text reads as follows:
Being a True Relation of a Farmer, who Bargaining with a Poor Mower, about the Cutting down Three Half Acres of Oats, upon the Mower's asking too much, the Farmer swore "That the Devil should Mow it, rather than He." And so it fell out, that that very Night, the Crop of Oats shew'd as if it had been all of a Flame, but next Morning appear'd so neatly Mow'd by the Devil, or some Infernal Spirit, that no Mortal Man was able to do the like. Also, How the said Oats ly now in the Field, and the Owner has not Power to fetch them away.

a crop circle in Switzerland  read more »

True stories: dolphin answers whales' SOS call; pod of dolphins save severely-injured surfer from becoming shark bait

dolphin with locator; inset: dolphins nap with one eye open

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Dolphins save surfer from becoming shark’s bait - a pod of bottlenose dolphins helped protect the severely injured boarder

Surfer Todd Endris needed a miracle. The shark - a monster great white that came out of nowhere - had hit him three times, peeling the skin off his back and mauling his right leg to the bone. That’s when a pod of bottlenose dolphins intervened, forming a protective ring around Endris, allowing him to get to shore, where quick first aid provided by a friend saved his life. “Truly a miracle,” Endris told TODAY’s Natalie Morales on Thursday.

dolphin watching in Goa: dolphin leap in the open sea

Dolphin answers whales' SOS call  read more »

"Thank you, Teddy (Edward Kennedy), for fighting for my civil rights." Farewell to all Kennedy brothers, all with courage!

Left: Kennedy brothers – 1960: John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy & Edward Kennedy. Bottom right: Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. in his pilot's gear. The eldest of nine siblings, he died in a plane crash on a volunteer mission during World War II at age of 29.

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Remember Ted Kennedy, liberal icon, as he did Bobby: "My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it." Ted Kennedy, a faithful Catholic & Lion of the Senate, politician fighting legislative battles for 47 years on behalf of the less fortunate, is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C., next to his two brothers.

Chris Mason, of Cambridge, Mass., carries his hand written sentiments along the procession route, ‘Thank you, Teddy, for fighting for my civil rights.’ Bostonians lined up along the route to pay their respects to their senator & his family; Inset: Ted Kennedy, the ‘Lion of the Senate,’ died on Aug 25, 2009 at 77  read more »

The measure of a man's success in life is not the money he's made. It's the kind of family he has raised.- Kennedy

top left: Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.; top right: Rose Kennedy holding Joe Jr., presumably prior to 1921; bottom: Kennedy family visits Pope Pius XII in Vatican City, 1939. Young Ted Kennedy stands in front of his father Joseph

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Joseph Kennedy, father of JFK, “bobby” & Ted Kennedy, was appointed by President Roosevelt in 1934 to be the 1st chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission. By 1935 Kennedy had helped to restore the economy. He said, “An organized functioning society requires a planned economy. The more complex the society the greater the demand for planning”, prudence, and responsible regulation. “Planned action is imperative, or else capitalism and the American scheme of life will be in serious jeopardy.” Bobby described his father’s mentality, “We were to try harder than anyone else, we might not be the best, and none of us were, but we were to make the effort to be the best.” Kennedy family, through strict and loving disciplines, has become legendary.

three brothers: Robert ‘Bobby’ Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy (JFK)

The Kennedy Patriarchs  read more »

Actor Ashton Kutcher reveals what's missing in drama business: hometown, genuine quality; & his "daunting" experience in NYC

Ashton Kutcher, movie star and TV producer, wishes he never had to endure the boredom of being a model

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People in Iowa have a different, genuine quality and a self-sufficient humility

What do you miss about growing up and living in the Midwest?
The biggest thing I miss in Iowa is my mom. She still lives there, and I don't get to see her as often as I'd like. I miss the certain smell in Iowa when it's about to rain. I miss how quiet it is. I miss having neighbors that I know and that I like. The thing I probably miss most of all is that people in Iowa have a different, genuine quality and a self-sufficient humility, a desire to do things for themselves and not complain. I miss being around people that don't complain. I'm in the drama business, and there are a lot of dramatic people that seem to be not very happy with where they are.
Does it bother you to be called Mr. Demi Moore?
No. Why would it? People have called me much worse.
Do you still have all those trucker hats?
Yeah. I've got a giant box of them in storage. I probably have like 500 or 600 hats that people have sent me.

a picture of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ashton Kutcher’s hometown

one man can have a voice as loud as a media network  read more »

Tommy Douglas, Canada's father of Medicare, would import foreign doctors to make his plan work

Tommy Douglas as a social policy innovator - Social welfare, universal Medicare, old age pensions and mothers' allowances

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"My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea." - Tommy Douglas 1961

Tommy Douglas - for introducing free healthcare to Canada - was voted "The Greatest Canadian" of all time. He was hospitalized at the age of 10. Due to a bone infection suffered four years earlier, Douglas's knee required several operations. Without the money to pay for a specialist, Tommy Douglas’ parents were told that the only option was to amputate their son's leg before the infection spread to the rest of his body. But before that could happen, a visiting surgeon offered to operate on Douglas for free, as long as his students were allowed to attend. The surgery saved Douglas's leg - quite possibly his life - and would serve as his inspiration for his dream of universally accessible medical care.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, convalescing in Calgary from his gratuitous liver transplant, pays homage to Tommy Douglas  read more »

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