OSU researchers lose Waldo Lake battle against Zika mosquitoes

8/1/2016: Anyone have a recent trip report?

UO Matters is now the #3 hit on google when you search for factual information on “Waldo Lake mosquitoes”. Help us get to #1 by sharing your data in the comments. Waldo lake weather forecast here, USFS map here, recreation passes here.

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But before you clog up the boat ramp this weekend trying to get your canoe off the rack (hint: there’s no cellphone reception, so download this helpful guide to knots in Oakridge) take a moment to consider the infamous Waldo Lake mosquitoes, and the risk that you may infect your colleagues or loved ones with the microencephalitic Zika virus.

Environmental extremists have pushed up the price of black market DDT, and while Oregon State researchers have tested an organic alternative at Waldo, and published the results in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, they apparently failed to persuade our state government to spend the $5,000 needed to defeat this terrorist threat:

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The private sector took up the challenge with a device made from old digital cameras and lasers from broken printers that tracks and incinerates hundreds of mosquitos per minute:

I can only imagine how much money the big-mosquito lobby paid Apple to keep this app off my phone.

9/15/2013: Log of the “Sweet Pea”:

Whilst on a SW tack our lookout detected a canoe in distress. In accordance with the law of the sea, as the nearest vessel we answered the rather giggly SOS. With the wind at force 4 from WNW, we smartly came about and put her in irons at 90 degrees to the swamped vessel. Our able crew inverted same, dragged it aboard the Sweet Pea, righted it, and then assisted the two distressed sea-persons in re-boarding. 2 minutes by the ship’s clock and we were all safely away.

Beaching at our favorite location, we were chased off by some hostile Kiwis. Seriously. But unlike Captain Cook we avoided confrontation and death by moving to another beach, and our only real hardship arose from the fact that each family had assumed it was the other’s turn to bring the beer.

It was the most people I’ve ever seen on Waldo: canoes, kayaks, paddle-boards, inflatables, sailboats, a catamaran, and a misinformed Mackenzie fishing boat.

8/17/2013: 11:30AM-6:00PM. Wind from the west, force 3 on the Beaufort scale. A large gender balanced sample with significant age variation was recruited and informed consent was obtained. The number of mosquito bites was not significantly greater than zero, using a one-tailed test.

8/4/2013: A panel with n=4 and repeated observations from 11AM to 5PM centered around North Bay yielded only a few bites. Water was actually warm enough for swimming. Wind 5-10 knots out of the west. Light haze from the fires, but no smell of smoke. And no stink-pots! Great day.

FEMA: Odds Trump wins presidency same as for deadly Cascadia quake

“13,000 will die … millions of others will be displaced or lose access to power, running water, and functioning sewer systems.”

The most likely outcome, however, is still that Clinton wins, the Democrats take back the Senate, and PLC stands for at least another 10 years. The FEMA risk analysis is linked to here. Predictwise has the betting on Trump here:

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TSA profiling captures microeconomic theorist at work

The WP has the report here:

On Thursday evening, a 40-year-old man — with dark, curly hair, olive skin and an exotic foreign accent — boarded a plane. It was a regional jet making a short, uneventful hop from Philadelphia to nearby Syracuse.

Or so dozens of unsuspecting passengers thought.

The curly-haired man tried to keep to himself, intently if inscrutably scribbling on a notepad he’d brought aboard. His seatmate, a blond-haired, 30-something woman sporting flip-flops and a red tote bag, looked him over. He was wearing navy Diesel jeans and a red Lacoste sweater – a look he would later describe as “simple elegance” – but something about him didn’t seem right to her.

She decided to try out some small talk. Is Syracuse home? She asked. No, he replied curtly.

He similarly deflected further questions. He appeared laser-focused — perhaps too laser-focused — on the task at hand, those strange scribblings.

Rebuffed, the woman began reading her book. Or pretending to read, anyway. Shortly after boarding had finished, she flagged down a flight attendant and handed that crew-member a note of her own.

… this quick-thinking traveler had Seen Something, and so she had Said Something.

That Something she’d seen had been her seatmate’s cryptic notes, scrawled in a script she didn’t recognize. Maybe it was code, or some foreign lettering, possibly the details of a plot to destroy the dozens of innocent lives aboard American Airlines Flight 3950. She may have felt it her duty to alert the authorities just to be safe. The curly-haired man was, the agent informed him politely, suspected of terrorism.

The curly-haired man laughed. He laughed because those scribbles weren’t Arabic, or another foreign language, or even some special secret terrorist code. They were math. Yes, math. A differential equation, to be exact.

Had the crew or security members perhaps quickly googled this good-natured, bespectacled passenger before waylaying everyone for several hours, they might have learned that he — Guido Menzio — is a young but decorated Ivy League economist. And that he’s best known for his relatively technical work on search theory, which helped earn him a tenured associate professorship at the University of Pennsylvania as well as stints at Princeton and Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

The proof?

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Dréos plays in Eugene this Friday, 7PM

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Dréos is a Celtic music ensemble of performing composers who invent and arrange new and old music using a traditional vocabulary. Following the October 2015 release of their debut recording, you’re invited to join with this exciting trio as they light up the dance music of Ireland and Scotland.

Dréos brings together the blazing piping of Eliot Grasso, virtuosic fiddling of Brandon Vance, and powerhouse accompaniment of Glen Waddell, for an evening of fiery dance music and soul-filling songs, new and old. Bring your dance shoes!

Location: New Hope Center Auditorium, 1790 Charnelton Street, Eugene, OR, 97401

Time: 7pm. $12 – Advance sales, $16 – Day of and at the door , $5 – Students (with ID)

The event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1651259745116893/

The page: www.dreosmusic.com

Anti-government militia seize strategic migratory bird refuge from feds

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The Oregonian’s Les Zaitz has a series of reports, here. The US Attorney’s statement is here. From what I can tell this started about 5 years ago when a rancher SE of Burns decided to clear out some sagebrush with a few unauthorized fires, including one that was apparently intended to cover up some deer poaching and scare off some witnesses. The 73-year-old rancher and his son were initially sentenced to a few months in jail, then later re-sentenced to 5 years after someone realized that was the federal mandatory minimum. They have agreed to report to prison later this month to finish their sentences.

But in protest, a well-armed anti-BLM militia group has now occupied the U.S. government’s most strategic facility in SE Oregon. That would be the headquarters of the Malheur National Bird Refuge, created in 1908 by noted conservationist, birder, and taxidermist Teddy Roosevelt, seen here riding through an overgrazed patch of sagebrush, looking for something to kill:

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Perhaps the militiamen’s target shouldn’t be a surprise, given that Roosevelt was responsible for locking away millions of acres of western land under federal control. Zaitz reports:

Ryan Bundy said there were no hostages, but the group is demanding that the Hammonds be released and the federal government relinquish control of the Malheur National Forest. He said many would be willing to fight — and die, if necessary — to defend what they see as constitutionally protected rights for states, counties and individuals to manage local lands.

And if that doesn’t work out, there’s always birdwatching. As the Audubon Society website notes:

In some years, the refuge has supported nearly 50 percent or more of the Pacific Flyway populations of Snow and Ross’s Geese, American Wigeon, and Tundra Swans. Thirty species of waterbirds – including regionally significant numbers of the American White Pelican, Great Egrets, and White-faced Ibis – nest and forage in the refuge. Malheur supports the highest numbers of breeding Greater Sandhill Cranes of any refuge in the western U.S. More than 25 shorebird species rest and refuel here, with migratory numbers qualifying the refuge as a regional Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve. The refuge supports at least 130 songbird species, many of which are identified as priority species by Partners in Flight, and includes the largest local population of Bobolinks in the western U.S.

The Chicago Tribune has more about this jaunty songster, here:

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In other birding news, Eugene’s Noah Strycker has broken the record for most bird species seen in one year: 6,042, or more than 1/2 of all known species. His website is here.

Public records reveal scandal over EUG’s Flying People payments

10/22/2015: The one time I try blogging about something that couldn’t possibly involve a public records scandal, it turns out it involves a public records scandal. Mark Baker has the report in the RG here.

10/19/2015: EUG Flying People to depart for LCC? Bob Keefer has the rumor in Eugene Art Talk, here. Sad if true. David Joyce’s photos have been the introduction to Eugene for many UO job candidates, including me. Apparently there have been some changes over the years:

Never mind that a few people have been removed. A child molester. And a former student of David Joyce’s at Lane Community College who’d borrowed some equipment that hadn’t been returned. Some minorities were added. A cop was stolen and never recovered.

Please tell us more about what’s going on with this latest Bob!

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