2,000 Gallons of Oil Leak Into Lake Michigan
Plus microfibers, mercury, phosphorus, & more!
January 14, 2015
C. Cook Nuclear Plant
near Bridgman, Michigan reported
gallon oil leak
into Lake Michigan on December 20, 2014. The Homer Simpsons of the
nuclear power plant say the two month long cooling system oil leak is
not radioactive. The oil leaking power plant is located just north of
the 1,439 acre Warren Dunes State Park, Michigan's most-visited park.
Lake Michigan also has microfiber
. Microfibers are tiny synthetic fibers that wash and rub
off of clothes
and boat sails and end up floating in the lake. In 2013, 12% of the
lake debris was microfibers, after researchers dragged fine nets
through the waters of southern Lake Michigan. The fibers get caught up
in the guts of fish and birds and are too small for
many water filtration systems. Microfibers have been found in beer
(Homer Simpson panics.)
Lake Michigan also has mercury pollution
from the BP refinery in
Indiana. BP has been dumping
20 times the mercury
they are allowed to dump in Lake
a type 2 diabetes drug, and other prescription drugs are being found in
Last September, the mayors of the Great Lakes cities met in Chicago to
discuss the phosphorus
problem on the Great Lakes, the world's largest
source of "fresh" water (other than the ice caps). Lake Michigan is the
source of Chicago's drinking water. It was a phosphorus algae bloom that caused Toledo to stop drinking Lake Erie water on August 2, 2014.
When my hand touches Lake Michigan water, bumps form around my pores --
keratosis pilaris. It goes away by washing my hand with clean water.
Music Association: Doobie Brothers - Black Water
Happy New Year
January 1, 2015
glass bottles lay about, empty of bubbly -- all that's left are the
bubbles. The corks and foil turtlenecks lay where they landed along
with glasses half empty and half full. The Tv smugly blares:
to be the coldest Tournament of Roses Parade on record. What you are
a chrysanthemum petal float and is now just a wilted mess, leaving an
icy smear on the road. The rose petals on the next float are all brown
and withered and ucky. They were beautiful when they were inside. Maybe
we should have the next parade inside, don't you agree?
script says, 'I agree.' The next float... isn't that a shame? They
tried using hairspray... tons and tons of hairspray to keep the flowers
(let's say) fresh, but apparently hairspray doesn't spray in the cold.
If we wanted floats looking this way, we could've had the parade in
Association: Bob Seger - We've Got Tonight
December 24, 2014
you ever bitten down on a candy cane and found that a piece of
peppermint has disappeared because it plastered itself to the surface
of your tooth?
I could write a Christmas special about that.
Fifty years ago this month, Rudolph the Red-Nosed
first aired on television. It was written by Romeo Muller (adapting
Robert May's story and the Johnny Marks song) but if you think about
the plot, you'd swear it was written by a committee.
there's the reindeer with the nasal deformity, then there's the elf who
wants to be a dentist who teams up with a guy with a big pick-axe
looking for silver and gold. In a never-viewed scene he strikes
The Christmas special is nearly a PSA for dental care in the face of
cookies and candy canes.
almost Hermes the PSA messenger god, wants to be a dentist. Yukon
Cornelius, the Canadian with a pick that he licks, is prospecting
for silver for fillings and gold for crowns. Or just silver and gold,
the dental message was lost in earlier drafts.
What was the original story for the TV special of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph became part of Santa's team, but what about Hermey? Did Hermey
originally go sleigh-riding with Santa?
Burl Ives: And
while Santa filled the stockings on Christmas Eve, Hermey filled the
cavities, taking a big pick-axe to embedded peppermint candy cane.
Association: Johnny Marks - There's Always Tomorrow
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer © 1164 (yes
1164, another decision by committee)
Hunger Games 3 - Mockingjay part 1
November 25, 2014
am a reasonable person.
In the first two Hunger Games movies, Katniss
Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) was the reasonable person. The final
screen moment of the second movie (Catching Fire) was a closeup of her
face transformed by emotional succession, a rapid evolution of
feelings. That moment was one of the best in Catching Fire.
the third movie, just released this past weekend, Katniss is no longer
the voice of reason. Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) is the new voice of
Katniss is suddenly lovesick for Peta. She now believes the lie
she helped propagate in the previous two movies that she loves Peta.
That's the basis of Hunger Games - Mockingjay part 1. Peta is being
held by the capitol, and Katniss -- strong, tough Katniss -- can
hardly survive or think straight without him.
This is the first
Hunger Games movie without the hunger games, which is fine, but it's
also the first one that has Katniss believing the love game was real.
Mockingjay is two hours of lovesick unreasonableness.
Association: Headeast - Since You've Been Gone
No Honor in Racism
November 2, 2014
The protest against the NFL's Washington Redskins had a great turnout
and a great day at the University of Minnesota.
The name will change. It's just a matter of time.
October 31, 2014
October 30, 2014
has freely provided a set of timelines of United
that I made.
I should update them
and expand on them, possibly by creating a timeline of world history.
But has studying history become... history
scientists and doctors have complained to me of the rising expectations
of keeping current with research and changes in their fields. Access to
information has become easier, yet experts are expected to read
everything that comes along, while it's still hot. The studying not
only never ends; it increases. So why study something as accessible as
I'm not certain we should. Civics?
Absolutely. History? (Shrug.)
Part of the problem
I've had in expanding my historical timelines is a matter of values.
history about kings? Is it about who left the biggest scar on Earth? Is
it about conquerors? Are those our values?
Or is it
about cultural understandings, understanding how most people of a time
and place lived, sometimes with nature, and leaving without much of a
about how environmentally friendly the Native American cultures were,
despite being as diverse as their landscape. Native Americans certainly
qualify, especially the tribes north of Mexico. My second prior post
The Oldest Of The New World
shows the lack of traces of thousands of years of life prior to the
The Old Copper culture
(4000-1500 bce) was the earliest known Native Americans in what is
today Michigan. Their area surrounded Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and
Lake Huron and included lower present day Ontario. In addition to
hunting, gathering, and fishing, they were miners, metalworkers, and
traders of copper items, mined from Isle Royale and the southern coast
of Lake Superior. The copper mining started with gathering float
nuggets in soil and streams then turned to the mining of copper
sheets from rock fissures. The earliest copper work was chipping like
what was done to stone. Learning to take advantage of copper's
they turned to annealing techniques (alternating heating and hammering)
to craft beautiful tools and ornaments.
were one of the four main mound building groups of North America. The Goodall Focus
was a Hopewell subgroup covering southwestern Michigan and northwestern
Indiana, including the Goodall mounds in Indiana and the Norton (or
Converse) mounds in Michigan. You may wonder, why not call it the
Norton focus? Most of the forty Norton mounds were destroyed. They were
either leveled in 1874 as part of a development by James Converse,
trenched through with a water line in 1885, or destroyed by
Interstate 196 (later the Gerald R. Ford freeway) in Grand Rapids in
1963. Some of the gutted burial mounds contained earthenware pots and
pottery fragments, copper needles, deer bone needles, graystone pipes,
pipestone pipes (using catlinite from Pipestone Creek, MI), beetle
totems made from antler, and bear canines (illustrations
Sacred. Burial sites. Would the same people pillage cemeteries and
churches? It boggles the mind.
Native American burial mounds have been found in: Alabama, Arkansas,
Florida, Georgia, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota,
Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and
Ontario. In Minnesota, Native American mounds are in Indian
Mounds Park in St. Paul. In and around Lake Minnetonka there were
mounds at 48 sites. Today 40 mounds remain at 12 sites. Native American
mounds are also found in Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Ottertail, Red
Wing, and probably other spots. The largest Native American mound is at
Cahokia in Illinois.
The Late Woodland Period
(500-1000ce) found hunting with bows and arrows, taking over for spears.
signposts were trees -- big trees with a branch unnaturally
outstretched, pointing the way. Forest dwelling Native Americans would
pick a spot along a trail, where the trail wasn't easy to follow,
and plant a sapling of a large tree with a main branch pointed
toward the nearest destination. They would loosely wrap the tree branch
it to grow parallel to the ground. The wrap would be only a few feet
maybe a piece of deerskin, that would last a few years. After a
years, a scar-free tree would act as a trail marker for
southwestern Michigan (lower peninsula) and were part of the Algonquian
languages, which are northeastern tribes but not part of the Iroquoian
language family. The Mascouten were attacked with French-traded metal
blades and matchlock guns by the Bodéwadmi
(Potawatomi) in the 1630s and the Iroquois in the 1640s. The survivors
of the Mascouten were either captured by tribes with European weapons
or fled to the Myaamia in Indiana and the Kickapoo in Wisconsin.
The Council of Three Fires
either formed at Michilimackinac
or they migrated from the northeast sometime after 1400
when the North American continent became colder. By oral
the council had been a tribe traveling the Atlantic coast, around the
gulf of the St. Lawrence River, before
settling on the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. The Council of Three
Fires were the Ojibwe (Chippewa) the older brother - keeper of
faith, the Ottawa (Odawa) the middle brother - keeper of trade, and the
Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi) the younger brother - keeper of the fire.
three tribes are language off-shoots of the Algonquian family of
(Potawatomi) lived in wickiups, domed houses of arched sapling
poles and interwoven mat
coverings. Their hunters and warriors used bows and arrows and wooden
clubs. They fished using spears, bone fishhooks, and nets of swamp ash
and milkweed with stone sinkers. They tapped maple trees with
spouts and buckets. Sassafras was an insect repellent. They
traveled with birch bark canoes, dugout canoes, toboggans, snowshoes,
and beginning in 1755, on horses. Their trails crisscrossed Michigan
multiple trails converging on Michilimackinac
The Potawatomi weave is named after them. They were
famous for their embroidery and beadwork. They crafted wampum
white and purple shell beads, possibly adding Lake Michigan crinoids as
ready-made wampum beads.
were the keeper of the fire, the
hearth, and the Michilimackinac
grew beans, peas, squash, melons, corn, wild rice, and tobacco. They
boiled fish on the eastern coast of Wisconsin before it was a Friday
night event in Door County, Wisconsin. They followed deer mouse prints
in the snow to storage stashes of nuts. They made soup from cattail
roots, soup from blueberries and wild rice, and soup from milkweed
flowers, wild garlic, and lichen. They made pudding from corn and from
squash. Maple syrup was a sweetener. Everything in its season, like the
Bodéwadmi medicine wheel.
Iroquois war parties chased the
Bodéwadmi and other Algonquian language tribes out of Michigan
and into Wisconsin during
the Beaver Wars of the mid-1600s. The Bodéwadmi spread out in
Wisconsin and into Illinois, and were back in the St.
Joseph area of southwest Michigan in 1695. During the War of
1812, the Bodéwadmi, siding with the British, attacked
a column of soldiers and civilians escaping Fort Dearborn. A
Bodéwadmi-French woman, Archange Ouilmette, intervened on behalf
of the Americans. As a result, Archange and Antoine Ouilmette were
given a reservation in 1829 where Lake Street meets Lake Michigan in
what is today, Wilmette, Illinois.
Treaty of Chicago in 1821 caused the St. Joseph band of
Bodéwadmi to surrender a
large tract of land in southwest Michigan (nearly all land south of the
Grand River) and northwest Indiana. In 1823, the US Supreme Court ruled
Native Americans could not own land, except as part of reservations. In
1838, the Bodéwadmi of the Wabash River Valley, Indiana were
forcibly removed to Kansas, which
killed 41 (mostly children) of the 859. During the following ten years,
600 more died.
Bodéwadmi escaped to Canada or Wisconsin. Most intermarried.
Many returned to Michigan or moved further west. Chief Leopold of the
Pokagon band of Bodéwadmi negotiated to keep his 280 people
in southwestern Michigan.
The oral history of the Myaamia
(Miami), the Downstream People
says they emerged at Saakiiweeyonki (South Bend, Indiana) where
the St. Joseph River empties into Lake Michigan. From Saakiiweeyonki,
they spread out along the Waapaahiki Siipiiwi (Wabash River)
from Kiihkayonki (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) to Aciipihkahkionki
(Vincennes, Indiana). The Wea tribe's largest village was Ouiatenon on
the Waapaahiki Siipiiwi.
The Myaamia spread to the
Maumee River in Indiana and Illinois. They settled north into Wisconsin
and Michigan, living along trade routes of rivers of the Lake Michigan
basin. They.were on the western shore of Lake
Michigan's Green Bay in
1658, Fort St. Joseph (Niles, Michigan) in 1673, and Fort Miami (St.
Joseph, Michigan) in 1679-1680.
Their language was also a off-shoot of the Algonquian
languages of the northeast. They lived in wickiups surrounded by fields
of corn in summer months and migrated to the prairie in winter. They
were like the Bodéwadmi in many ways, except the Miamiak
ate their prisoners. Chief Little Turtle ended cannibalism in the
late 1700s. On November 9, 1846, the United States divided the Myaamia
into the Indiana Miami (148 Myaamia were allowed to
stay) and the Western Miami.(taken to Oklahoma).
Sounds and drinks
I wrote this while listening to a CD by Carlos Quinche
titled Meditation -
Contemporary Native American Music
from 2008. It's wonderful instrumental music. It's great music
contemplation, writing, and peace. Simultaneously, I was drinking tea
from the Native
American Tea Company.
They have six tea blends: Good Medicine (spearmint), Indian Love Tea
Brew (cinnamon), Teepee Dreams (peppermint), Chief's Delight (berry),
and Victory Tea (punch). Plus they have a
black tea and a green tea. (Box 1266, Aberdeen SD 57402-1266;
1-888-291-8517). For a better balance in life, I highly recommend the
ones I have tried: green tea, Good Medicine, Indian
Love Tea, Chief's Delight, and Teepee Dreams.
not sure how to create any sort of depth, any sort of real values, in a
timeline. Maybe it would be best as a blog post about native history.
Association: Carlos Quinche - Ancient Dreams
Drinking Association: Native American
Tea Company - Teepee Dreams
Twin Cities Calendar Association
November 2, 2014
Honor In Racism Rally
Dunes & Fossilized Cheerios
Take a straw and use it to blow a little
pile of sand.
you blow straight down, the sand scatters. If you blow with water in
your mouth, the sand will get wet and won't move much. If you blow from
the side, you can cause an escalator effect -- the sand grains bounce
up the little sand pile and over the top. Now do that for thousands of
Congratulations, you've created a sand dune.
need more sand. Your wind was fine.
you learned was that the wind has to be consistent, from one direction
and one angle, no cross purposes, for the thousands of
dry. It has to be a dry wind. A wet wind isn't going to do any good.
Water shuts down the escalator. Cold shuts down the escalator. Cold
temperatures take the slightest bit of moisture on the surface of the
sand and freezes the sand together so the dune is frozen in time.
Walking on a frozen dune makes the same sound as crunching on tortilla
chips, except not as close to your ears.
stuff. You can see it at Warren Dunes State Park, Michigan's most
visited state park, on the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan. Look at
the sand on Tower Hill, the big, obvious dune by the beach. The grains
of sand are fine.
R.A. Bagnold identified sand as
any particle between .02 - 1.0 mm in diameter in The Physics of Blown Sand and
from 1941. The grains of sand must be light enough in relation to the
strength of the wind to be bounced or carried but heavy enough to be
dropped off or stopped. Soil particles would keep moving. The squeak of
the sand comes from the high quartz content.
down to the beach
and the sand grains are larger, darker, and heavier. At the water line
you'll find sand that is borderline pebbles, actual
Cheerios were first created in
General Mills. Cheerios haven't been around long enough to get
fossilized, and these aren't really fossilized
are crinoids, little white ringlets of plantlike marine
were the dominant life forms of the Silurian period (380-350 million
years ago). They are still around today, but these crinoid fossils are
most likely from the Silurian. Crinoids are too heavy to be carried by
the wind (usually).
For hundreds of millions of
of the North American continent was an inland sea, a mega Gulf
Mexico (630-306 million years ago). Seacoasts and ocean coasts make
sand. The Great Lakes don't have the tidal forces to make sand to the
degree an inland sea would.
How Sand Dunes Are Formed
recipe for forming sand dunes is:
single direction (One Direction) wind
obstacles that stop the sand, like beach grass or a hill of
Most of the sand bounces up the sand hill. Some sand gets carried by
Dry and warm helps.
time varies by
location and conditions. Some dunes like Tower Hill at Warren Dunes are
in a funnel-shaped area that may have caused two or more dunes to
converge as one.
Historians say that Lake Michigan
be larger on nearly all sides (except around Warren Dunes), and they
it Lake Chicago. Historians are funny. If they were in Minnesota, they
would have a blast continuously renaming all the lakes as the water
levels rise and
Some say the
dunes were formed when glaciers dumped an accumulation of sand in one
spot. Funny people.
was a time, 9,500 years ago, when Lake Michigan or glacial Lake Chicago
or whatever was half drained. At that time there would have
sand bowl sitting just to the west of where Warren Dunes is today. The
sand was formed by the same seas where the crinoids lived. Lake
Whatever washed it together and then dried up. That's when the winds
took over. They've been working at it ever since.
description of sand dunes being like escalators? The back edges of
dunes are often like cliffs where the sand drops off. In the 1980s, the
Warren Dunes staff built a picnic area behind the Tower Hill dune. At
the same time, the escalator speed escalated when park rangers began
driving over Tower Hill on ATVs.
slopes became less steep, and beach grasses became uprooted. And only a
few years later, the dune swallowed up the picnic ground.
Association: Dido - Sand
In My Shoes
Oldest of the New World
quantification time: time to put numbers to the statement, North
America is a young continent and an old continent.