Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fathers, Be "Courageous". Top Ten Animal Dads. $15 Million Stolen. AR Sues Exxon. Gut Biota Never Recover From Antibiotics. U.S.-Canadian Border. Francis Parkman.


For “Summary Saturday”,  News, Some New, Some Old: Tomorrow is Father’s Day.

Fathers and Father-Figures - Do It Right, Be "Courageous"

father and son

“For Father’s Day, an idea popped into my head—rent the movie “Courageous” to watch with my wife and son. By the end of the movie, we were super thankful for the idea that made an ideal Father’s Day activity!

The movie focuses on the lives of four tough sheriff’s deputies who come to realize that being good fathers was a bigger challenge than being good law enforcement officers. For them, protecting the streets was second nature. Committing to raising their children in a God-honoring way required even greater courage. And the wisdom from the greatest authority on parenting--the Bible.

Movie critics who don’t like the Bible don’t like this movie. No surprise about that! But a very high percentage of the people who have watched the movie loved it as being highly entertaining, instructive, inspiring and motivating.

What the sheriff said to the deputies

Early in the movie, the sheriff gives a routine morning briefing to all the deputies. He concludes his instructions for the day by adding this:

“Had an e-mail to come across my desk I’d like to share with you. A recent study was done on the increase in violent gang activity. In almost every case, each gang member had a similar attribute. Runaways, dropouts, kids on drugs, and teens in prison. That attribute is that most of them came from a fatherless home. To put it another way, when a father’s absent, kids are five times more likely to abuse drugs and commit suicide, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. Look, I know your shift work is hard and I know you see the worst side of people. But when you clock out, go home and love your families.”  

So...may all of us fathers be firmly committed to being, with the guidance and help of God, the best fathers we can possibly be. And whether or not you have children of your own, you can be a strong father-figure to other children. There are lots and lots of children who don’t have a father with them. You can be a part-time dad and make a big difference in the life of a fatherless child.”

Read more at: by Don Hooser.


Top Ten Animal Dads

“Lessons from America's animal kingdom in how to be a super-dad

Red fox

1. Red Fox: Best Tough-Love Dad 
For the first month after a fox couple produces young, the female must stay in her den, doubling as a food source and thermal blanket for the babies, called kits. Dad's job is providing her with food every four to six hours until she can leave the den and start hunting as well. For the young, though, life is a free ride for about 90 days, as both parents cater to their needs. After three months, it's time for life's first harsh lesson as the adults start making the pups work for their grub: Fox fathers bury surplus food close to the den and disguise it with leaves and twigs, teaching the kits to sniff and forage and laying the groundwork for their adult roles as hunters.
2. Barking Frog: Best Amphibian Dad
Truthfully, there is not much competition. The male barking frog in the U.S. Southwest is the only North American frog known to pitch in with parenting. His contribution? He stays near the eggs until they're hatched, wetting them down with urine when they begin to dry out.
3. Phalarope: Most Thoroughly Modern Dad

The phalarope—a shorebird that resembles a sandpiper—takes role reversal to extremes. The male makes the nest, incubates the eggs and cares for the young. His breeding plumage is also less colorful than his mate's, almost unheard of in the bird world. In the United States, northern and red-necked phalaropes nest in Alaskan tundra, and Wilson's phalaropes nest in inland marshes in the West.

4. Jacana: Most Multi-Dad Household

During nesting season, a female jacana—a long-legged wading bird—will guard her territory from interlopers while her harem of males bustles with more domestic tasks: As many as four male counterparts are each building nests and rearing individual clutches of eggs laid by the female. Usually found south of the U.S. border, jacanas sometimes range into Texas.

5. Seahorse: Best Mom-Mimicking Dad

According to evolutionary ecologist Sara Lewis at Tufts University, "Seahorses are the champions of paternal care. They are one of the few animals where the males are morphologically specialized to take care of the young." Talk about role reversal. After an elaborate courtship that includes sunrise swims along the ocean floor, the female inserts a tube inside the male's brood pouch and "impregnates" him with eggs. While she swims off, the male knocks his body against a plant or rock to settle the now fertilized eggs in his pouch. Depending on the species, during the next 10 to 30 days the male seahorse's belly swells with the growth of 10 to 300 offspring. Delivery can take hours as the young spring free and clumsily swim to hook themselves on nearby grasses. The male will then return to the same partner later that day to mate again. Seahorses can be found in all of the nation's shallow coastal waters.

6. Sea Catfish: Dad with the Best Dieting Plan

The male sea catfish's mouth is his nursery, as he swims around with jaws full of eggs the size of marbles that he picked up shortly after the female laid them. This strategy precludes eating, so he lives off body fat for the month it takes the eggs to hatch and also for the two or three weeks his young need to grow into independence. Sea catfish inhabit temperate coastal and brackish waters in the northern Gulf of Mexico and southern Florida.

7. Giant Water Bug: Most Misunderstood Dad

While paternal care goes against the norm in the insect world, the male giant water bug nevertheless shoulders his species' parenting burden: Once they've mated, the female essentially glues her eggs on the male's back. After he's loaded up with 150 or more eggs, the male water bug is totally responsible for them. He strokes the eggs to keep them clean. He executes a sort of deep knee bend to aerate the eggs. He sometimes sits at the water surface to dry them off and get rid of parasites. Within a few weeks, the eggs triple in size. Right before they hatch, the male stops eating to avoid consuming his offspring. Once his young hatch and scatter, the male ends his parenting session by kicking the egg pads off his back. He can have three more clutches before breeding season is over. Observant naturalists can see these behaviors in and near moving water in Florida and at higher elevations in the Southwest.

8. Lumpsucker: Most Self-Sacrificing Dad

When the tide's in, the lumpsucker (a stout-bodied, tadpole-shaped fish found in northern U.S. coastal waters) isn't much different from other fish dads that aerate their eggs by fanning them with fins or tail. When the tide recedes, however, the lumpsucker goes the extra mile by staying put. He remains with his eggs by attaching himself to the rocks with a sucker formed from his pelvic fins, a kamikaze move exposing him to hungry gulls and crows.

9. Great Horned Owl: Hardest Working Dad

The male great horned owl starts a family by establishing his territory and attracting a mate with his three- or five-hooter call. Then both partners go househunting for places like old squirrel nests, hawk nests or hollowed-out tree stumps. "I've even seen an owl take over a red-tailed hawk's nest," says ornithologist Richard J. Clark at York College of Pennsylvania. In late winter, the female lays two or three eggs, and the male's marathon begins. While she keeps those eggs from freezing, he brings home food in the form of rats, mice, squirrels and even prey as large as pheasants. In most bird species, says Clark, the female is the smaller animal, but not birds of prey. So the male great horned owl must feed himself and another adult about 25 percent larger than he. With two or three hatchlings crying for food, his burden multiplies. After about a month, however, the female starts to help hunt. This is a blessing for the male, because the fledglings will grow to be temporarily bigger than their parents and require as much as one-fourth their body weight in daily food intake.

10. Three-Spined Stickleback: Best Bachelor-Pad Dad

In spring, the male three-spined stickleback gets domestic: Using twigs, plant debris and mucus as mortar, this resident of northern U.S. waters and the eastern North Pacific meticulously constructs bower-like nests. Once done, he turns to finding a mate. Advertising availability with a bright red belly and blue-green on his tail, he approaches a female and vibrates to signal his interest. To capture hers, he shows off his prime real estate. The process continues until a female enters his nest to lay eggs. Her role done, the male chases her out and swims through the nest to fertilize what she has left behind. He may even add to his brood by repeating the process with other females. Once he moves on to guarding his nest, the stickleback is a protective dad. He fans oxygen-filled water to the eggs with his fins. He removes eggs infected with fungus. He defends his young fry for the first few days of their lives. And he gathers wanderers in his mouth and spits them back into their nursery until they're ready to be off on their own.

And Who's the Worst Dad in the Animal Kingdom? ... The Grizzly Bear!

Deadbeat dads who desert their young are bad enough, but the grizzly bear actually kills cubs. To be fair, the grizzly is an equal-opportunity assassin. He goes after any cubs in his home range, an area as big as 1,200 square miles, where a half dozen females could be rearing young. "There's a good chance he's killing his own offspring," says biologist Harry Reynolds of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Fairbanks.

A murderous male doesn't find it easy to get past mother bears, however--despite the fact that he is likely two or three times bigger than they are. Females with cubs are ferociously protective, and the more aggressive the female, the more likely she'll succeed in protecting her young. "This characteristic has obvious evolutionary advantages and may in part explain the species `personality' traits," adds Reynolds.

Killing progeny seems counterproductive, evolutionarily speaking, so why does the grizzly practice infanticide? According to biologist Vic Barnes at Alaska's Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, murderous males may be regulating the size of the bear population. Since females can have litters of mixed paternity, another theory suggests a male kills cubs so a female will come back into estrus and he can impregnate her again to better ensure passing on his genes. To Reynolds, neither theory seems conclusive. "Here's one thing we do know," he says. "Bears are successful because they are opportunists, eating anything from grasses to whale carcasses. If that food source is occasionally another bear, I doubt they stop to think about it."”    A Father's Day Top Ten: Animal Fathers by Susan Goodman, National Wildlife.


Cybercriminals Hacked 15 Financial Firms for $15 Million Over 2 Years

“Hackers allegedly targeted 15 financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and E-Trade, as part of a nearly two-year-long scheme to hack into customer accounts online to steal at least $15 million, U.S. authorities announced this week.

"Cybercriminals penetrated some of our most trusted financial institutions as part of a global scheme that stole money and identities from people in the United States," New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a statement.”  Read more at:


Exxon sued over Arkansas pipeline spill

images[3] NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- “The Arkansas Attorney General and the federal government are suing ExxonMobil, alleging improper waste storage and water contamination stemming from a March pipeline spill that sent thousands of barrels of heavy tar sands crude flooding into the small town of Mayflower.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, the Arkansas AG alleges that Exxon stored oil and oil-contaminated clean-up material alongside a state highway without a permit, despite being told to remove the material on May 1. Civil penalties related to that case could total $25,000 per violation.

The AG and the federal Environmental Protection Agency are also seeking civil penalties against Exxon for violations of state and federal clean water and air laws. Violating the state environmental laws carries a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation per day.

images[5] "This spill disrupted lives and damaged our environment," Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said in a written statement. "As the party responsible for this incident, Exxon is also responsible for the penalties imposed by the state for the damage to our environment and the company should foot the bill for the state's clean-up costs."”       Read more at:


Gut Biota Never Recover from Antibiotics: Damages Future Generations

“The misuse of antibiotics is not only causing new, never-before known diseases like E. coli and MRSA, the flesh-eating bacteria, it's also destroying the gut biome with devastating effects on our ability to deal with infections and destroying our ability to absorb nutrients from food.

Emerging research shows that the harmful effects of antibiotics go much further than the development of drug resistant diseases. The beneficial bacteria lost to antibiotics, along with disease-inducing bacteria, do not fully recover. Worse, flora lost by a mother is also lost to her babies. The missing beneficial gut bacteria are likely a major factor behind much of the chronic disease experienced today. The continuous use of antibiotics is resulting in each generation experiencing worse health than their parents.

Martin Blaser, the author of a report in the prestigious journal Nature writes:

Antibiotics kill the bacteria we do want, as well as those we don’t. These long-term changes to the beneficial bacteria within people’s bodies may even increase our susceptibility to infections and disease. Overuse of antibiotics could be fuelling the dramatic increase in conditions such as obesity, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and asthma, which have more than doubled in many populations.

Without even considering the development of superbugs, we’re now seeing clear documentation that the overall long term effects of antibiotics are devastatingly harmful to our health. Speaking to ABC News, Blaser said:

Antibiotics are miraculous. They’ve changed health and medicine over the last 70 years. But when doctors prescribe antibiotics, it is based on the belief that there are no long-term effects. We’ve seen evidence that suggests antibiotics may permanently change the beneficial bacteria that we’re carrying.

Notice that term, permanent. Without factoring in the potential risks in the casual use of antibiotics, it now looks like conventional medicine is creating several pandemics of some of the worst chronic diseases known.

Mass Use of Antibiotics

By the time a child reaches age 18 in the industrialized world, the chances are he or she has been given 10-20 courses of antibiotics. That misuse continues into adulthood, and they’re casually prescribed to pregnant women.

That’s where the situation grows ever worse. Part of normal childbirth is a baby’s passage through the birth canal—where it’s exposed to its first dose of beneficial bacteria. (This should give pause to anyone considering a caesarian birth that isn’t absolutely necessary.)” 

Read more at: by Heidi Stevenson.


On This Day:

U.S.-Canadian border established, Jun 15, 1846:

“Representatives of Great Britain and the United States sign the Oregon Treaty, which settles a long-standing dispute with Britain over who controlled the Oregon territory. The treaty established the 49th parallel from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Georgia as the boundary between the United States and British Canada. The United States gained formal control over the future states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, and the British retained Vancouver Island and navigation rights to part of the Columbia River.

In 1818, a U.S.-British agreement had established the border along the 49th parallel from Lake of the Woods in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west. The two nations also agreed to a joint occupation of Oregon territory for 10 years, an arrangement that was extended for an additional 10 years in 1827. After 1838, the issue of who possessed Oregon became increasingly controversial, especially when mass American migration along the Oregon Trail began in the early 1840s.

American expansionists urged seizure of Oregon, and in 1844 Democrat James K. Polk successfully ran for president under the platform "Fifty-four forty or fight," which referred to his hope of bringing a sizable portion of present-day Vancouver and Alberta into the United States. However, neither President Polk nor the British government wanted a third Anglo-American war, and on June 15, 1846, the Oregon Treaty, a compromise, was signed. By the terms of the agreement, the U.S. and Canadian border was extended west along the 49th parallel to the Strait of Georgia, just short of the Pacific Ocean.”

________On the same day:

Francis Parkman arrives at Fort Laramie, Jun 15, 1846:

“Francis Parkman, one of the first serious historians to study the American West, arrives at Fort Laramie and prepares for a summer of research with the Sioux.

Parkman was an unlikely frontiersman. The son of a prominent Boston family, he was an impeccably proper gentleman of independent means who was more at home among the ivory towers of Harvard than the tepees of the Sioux. Yet, after graduating from Harvard in 1846, Parkman set out to write the definitive history of the French and Indian Wars of 1689 to 1763. To set the stage for the wars, he wished to discuss the life of the Northeastern Native Americans before the arrival of Europeans, but could find few useful sources on the subject. Parkman reasoned that the still relatively untouched tribes of the Western plains would provide him with insights into pre-Columbian Indian life. In 1846, he headed west to spend a summer among the Plains Indians.

Traveling with an experienced trapper named Henry Chatillon as a guide, Parkman followed the Oregon Trail west for three months. On this day in 1846, he arrived at Fort Laramie in present-day Wyoming. Parkman was overjoyed to learn that a party of Oglala Sioux was gathering nearby in preparation for a summer war with their enemies, the Snake. Certain that all Indians were bloodthirsty savages eager to fight, Parkman viewed the approaching war as an opportunity to witness the Indian's true nature. Soon after, though, he heard that the Sioux had decided to abandon the warpath for that summer. For the first time, Parkman began to question the accuracy of the stereotypical white view of the Indians.

If he was fully to understand the Sioux, Parkman believed, he would need to "become, as it were, one of them." Luckily, his guide Chatillon was married to a daughter of a Sioux chief, and the trapper managed to persuade the chief to allow Parkman to travel with the Sioux for a summer. A prominent warrior named Big Crow (Kongra-Tonga) agreed to share his tepee with Parkman and watch over the inexperienced Bostonian.

In the months that followed, many of Parkman's preconceived notions about Indians melted away. Though Big Crow and other warriors proudly described their often-brutal fights with enemy tribes, Parkman also discovered the Sioux were a warm and generous people. "Both Kongra-Tonga [Big Crow] and his squaw," he noted, "like most other Indians, were very fond of their children, whom they indulged to excess and never punished except in extreme cases." Observing that they would at times give away all of their possessions, he concluded that the Sioux, "though often rapacious, are devoid of avarice."

After six months in the West, Parkman returned to Boston and wrote a compelling account of his summer with the Sioux. Published in 1849, The Oregon Trail was both a fascinating travel book and an important work of ethnography. Initially, Parkman thought of his first book as little more than a preface to the works of history he subsequently produced. Only later in life did he realize it was an important work, an "image of an irrevocable past." Indeed, Parkman's portrait of the Sioux continues to be a valuable window into Plains Indian life before it was changed by the advancing front of Anglo-American settlement.”



Misty and I went to get Jay, and had our walk down there

Jay mowed the all the grass.  My job was to go around picking up any sticks and pine cones before he got to each section.  As there was hardly any wind we burned one of the burn piles.  I doused it down with a water hose before I took Jay home.  It was going to be in the high 90’s, too hot to be outside watching a fire, so I didn’t want to burn any more piles and have it burning all day.  


Dizzy-Dick said...

Dang, I didn't see my name listed with the best dads (grin)

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Hi DD.

That list was for animal dads. Which animal would you want to be?

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny