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For almost half the world’s population, water-related dreams and fears intersect in the Himalayas and on the Tibetan plateau. Other regions have their share of conflicting claims over water issues: Turkey, Syria and Iraq over the headwaters of the Tigris; Israel and its neighbours around the Jordan basin; the U.S. and Mexico over the Colorado River; the riparian states of the Paraguay, the Parana or the Nile. But none combine the same scale of population, scarcity of rainfall, dependence on agriculture, scope for mega-dam projects and vulnerability to climate change as those at stake within the greater Himalayan region. Here, glaciers and annual snowmelts feed rivers serving just under half of the world’s population, while the unequalled heights from which their waters descend could provide vast amounts of hydro-power. At the same time, both India and China face the grim reality that their economic and social achievements since the late 1940s—both ‘planned’ and ‘market-based’—have depended on unsustainable rates of groundwater extraction; hundreds of millions of people now face devastating shortages. –“The Great Himalayan Watershed,” Kenneth Pomeranz, New Left Review
The Moose Dropping festival is an annual benefit for the Talkeetna Historical Society. This year’s was the 37th celebration and residents say it drew record numbers who overwhelmed the tiny town, population 850… Things got bad at night, troopers said… Lauri Stec, a 15-year-resident of Talkeetna and the manager of Nagley’s General Store, said the weekend was not a good time. “There was a lot of drunken, high, stupid people doing stupid things.” Stec’s bicycle, always parked unlocked outside the store, was stolen. The thief “was one of those ‘groovy people,’ who pretends to be all groovy, kind and good. Well, if he was so good, why did he steal my bike?” –“Talkeetna Festival Turns to Mayhem,” Megan Holland, Anchorage Daily News
In the speech delivered to the San Juan chapter of NOW, Sotomayor said, “I want to be perfectly clear about this next comment so that there is no mistaking my words to mean something other than what they plainly say: the time has come to end white male oppression by castrating every white male until they are no longer dominant in Western culture. That means forcible removal of their testicles. I realize the brutality of my comment, and I don’t know how to say it more clearly.” –“Sonia Sotomayor,” Snopes.com
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”