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Environmental Updates
More than 700 employees at the EPA, including 200 scientists, have left the agency during the first year of the Trump administration. With a reported goal of cutting at least 3,100 full time employees, the administration has accomplished staff reduction in part via buyouts, with other employees retiring or just quitting their jobs. Despite the mass exodus, there has been an increase in political appointments with 73 people hired in Administrator Scott Pruitt's office to replace 53 openings.
A glowing UFO that lit up the skies in Southern California last week turned out to be nothing more than a rocket carrying 10 satellites. With a contrail that was seen as far away as Phoenix, Arizona,the mysterious light unnerved some locals who feared the object might signal a nuclear bomb attack or visitors from another planet. The Los Angeles Fire Department released a statement informing the public that the rocket was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Technology is being used to save Finnish reindeer by fitting them with sensors linked to smartphones. Herders are then able to quickly locate injured animals more quickly and rescue them. There are plans next year to track the reindeer's predators.
Apiaceae, AKA spotted water hemlock, is pretty to look at, but carries the distinction of being the deadliest plant in America. Found in freshwater marshes or swampy areas, this cousin to carrots, celery, parsnips, and coriander can cause a painful death within two hours with one bite due to the presence of a potent CNS stimulant. With lovely flowers that resemble Queen Anne's Lace, spotted water hemlock proves the axiom that beauty is only skin deep.
As the climates changes, some people have coined new words to describe what's going on. "Antevernals" is a name for flowers that bloom early in the year due to premature springs. A "climate dismissive" is a person who denies any evidence of climate change. "climate tourism" describes the rush of people who visit areas expected to melt or disappear. "Ecoanxiety" is anxiety or worry that stems from increasing damage due to climate change or other ecological threats. And "hotumn" is an unusually hot fall that's too unseasonable to be called autumn.
12/26/17
Roman Hills