Sunday, April 13, 2008


Please visit my other blog, Hope for Pandora. I found keeping two different blogs schizophrenic, so I write about whatever I want over there.

Have a good day.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This is News?

I am sorry: I just had to repost the entire article...

Streetcar projects will cause traffic delays


Streetcar construction projects in the South Lake Union area and just south of Denny Way on Westlake Avenue are expected to create delays for motorists starting this week.

The intersection of Terry Avenue North and Harrison Street is scheduled to be closed for installation of streetcar tracks 24 hours a day from Monday until Sept. 21, city officials said.

Valley Street's intersections with Westlake Avenue North, Terry Avenue North and Fairview Avenue North will be periodically closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 or 11 p.m. until 5 or 6 a.m.

Westlake south of Denny will be the site of nighttime work, all between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., Wednesday night through Saturday morning. Parking there will be restricted all week.

In related news, PI Staff have decided that today would be a good time to go out for their twice- yearly visit to the South Lake Union neighborhood.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ruminant On This!

goats on campus
Originally uploaded by tom_robey.
Currently at a cost of $750 per day, a herd of 60 goats is eating ivy, blackberries and assorted other goodies along the southeastern most section of Ranier Vista. There's gotta be someone out there that knows if this is better for the environment, cost effective, or hilarious...

Friday, August 3, 2007

Light Reading

Seattle City Light's customer newsletter, Light Reading has some good information this month for people interested in Seattle's energy use.

First, the 2006 fuel mix disclosure indicates that 98.0% of all electricity used in Seattle is from non-carbon emissions sources. This is from from 2005's 93.7%. Here is the 2006 breakdown:
  • Hydro: 89.8%
  • Nuclear: 4.6%
  • Wind: 3.5%
  • Natural Gas: 1.1%
  • Coal: 0.9%
  • Biomass: 0.05%
  • Petroleum: 0.01%
  • Waste: 0.02%
I wonder what "waste" is.

The other resource in the newsletter is a personal emissions calculator provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. Unfortunately, the usage calculation for home electricity use is based on national averages, both for cost per KWH and power mix. This is important for assessing % generation from 'green' sources. For my ~$40/month bill, I've estimated that I should enter $2.50/month in order to account for this benefit of living in the Northwest. (2% of our energy comes from burning carbon, while the national average is 70%, but we pay about half of the national power rate average; Seattlites should multiply their bills by .06.)

Seattle still looks to me like a rather green city. Emerald in fact.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Crows and West Nile Virus

Lately, my walks to and from bus stops or around campus have included a little foraging for berries, flower, coyote scat and other cool stuff. A consequence of this is that I notice (more than usual) animal carcasses. Since I am on the lookout for an intact crow's head for a Wunderkammern project I am working on, there are a few health issues I need to pay close attention to. Namely, West Nile Virus. If you see a dead crow, and live in a region where WNV has been reported, there's a good chance your county has a reporting system in place. In King County, you can call 206-205-4394 M-F 8a-5p, or go to the easy web-based form I just used to report two crow roadkills I saw on Saturday.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Welcome Wolves to Washington

Recently there's been a flurry of news about coyotes in Seattle. A bit of misinformation is out there, and only a little fear-mongering (mostly on behalf of small pets), but in general I am impressed with how willing Seattlites are to share their green space. But can you imagine the response if wolves made their way to Puget Sound?

An article in the Seattle Times today reports the first documentation of the coyote's larger cousin, Canis lupis in Washington State. A biologist's motion activated field camera captured on film a gray wolf in Pend Orielle County earlier this year.

Ironically, the less populous wolf is better studied than the opportunistic coyote. Mountain state and Pacific Northwest residents are probably be familiar with the wolf reintroduction program in Yellowstone and beyond. This wolf is probably descendant from these transplants and is scouting for new territory. Wildlife experts in Washington say that there are no packs in the state yet, and it may be a while before Washingtonians see any. That is not stopping efforts to plan for wolves' arrival. The stigma and mythology associated with wolves may not be as misguided as the public misconceptions concerning sharks, but community consensus needs to form sooner than later.

The wolves are coming. Will we be ready to welcome them?

Monday, July 23, 2007

More Coyote News

The P-I and King5 both featured urban coyotes today. Coyotes are not new to Nuevo Colony, but there is a big media buzz today. Check out my science blog for a more complete analysis! Or, if you have seen a coyote, head over to the Northwest Coyote Tracker to report it. The site owner has been deluged today with reports, but I think she will catch up after all the hype dies down.

Follow this link for video from the King5 report.