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Kilimanjaro March 27, 2009

Posted by presto21 in Travel.
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Sunrise at Stella Point, at the lower lip of Kibo’s summit crater.

Sunrise at Stella Point, at the lower lip of Kibo’s summit crater.

My first post- what’s up everyone?

In the spirit of ensuring that scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro and taking in its breathtaking sights is in our collective future I decided to gather a little bit of information on the famed mountain. Essentially, I’m lobbying to make sure we actually do this. Let’s be honest, every year tons of people our age ambitiously declare their desire to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro after a blunt, a night of drinking, or both. Far fewer ever see the view that Ernest Hemingway described as: “wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun.”

In the moors are the region’s most distinctively weird plants: colonnade-like, eight-foot lobelias and clusters of tree-size senecio kilimanjari, or giant groundsels, with clumps of cabbage-shaped leaf clusters atop withered-looking trunks.

It’s highest peak, the Kibo Summit is 19,330 ft. high. On the way to the top of Kilimanjaro you pass through four distinct ecological zones: equatorial rain forest, misty moors with otherworldly flora (picture on the right), alpine high desert, and finally the frigid, dry summit zone. There are two main climbing seasons: January through February and mid-June through mid-October (bingo). The mountain’s overall success/failure rate for climbers is estimated to be around 50 percent (although that includes some of the more challenging of the mountain’s six established trails) so having a pair of balls about it is necessary.

It’s expensive. Paying for the necessary guides runs between $3,500 and $5,000 so…start saving. See ya’ll at the top.

Kibo Summit of Kilimanjaro

Kibo Summit of Kilimanjaro

Tropicana: Saving the Environment? March 26, 2009

Posted by Afflatus in Environment.
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I found a very interesting blog post by Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, on his blog about Tropicana’s new environmental/marketing campaign. Essentially, each time you buy a carton of Tropicana orange juice and type the code in online, you will save 100 square feet of rain forest in the Amazon. As an economist, Levitt analyzes the costs and benefits of this decision for Tropicana. He argues it’s an extremely smart business decision. It’s a great idea, and it saves the rain forest; but is it really as helpful as you think? Read more here.

Julian refuses to drink Trader Joes orange juice, and instead insists on drinking Tropicana. The environment has nothing to do with it though, he just likes the taste!

Pivotal Conservation Bill Passes March 26, 2009

Posted by surfair in Environment.
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Congress approves landmark conservation bill

Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:14am EDT

By Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S. Congress gave final approval on Wednesday to sweeping land and water conservation legislation that environmental groups praised as one of the most significant in U.S. history. The measure, a package of more than 160 bills, would set aside about 2 million acres — parks, rivers, streams, desert, forest and trails — in nine states as new wilderness and render them off limits to oil and gas drilling and other development. The House of Representatives approved the measure on a vote of 285-140 a week after it cleared the Senate, capping years of wrangling and procedural roadblocks. It now goes to President Barack Obama to sign into law, which he is expected to do swiftly. “I can’t think of a single bill that has ever done more to ensure the enjoyment of, and access to, wilderness areas (and) historic sites,” said Democratic Senator Jeff Bingaman who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Opponents, most of them Republican, complained the legislation would deny access for oil and gas drilling and said House Democrats refused to hippy-on-bikeconsider changes. The 2 million acres that would be designated as new wilderness are mostly in California, followed by Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia, New Mexico and Michigan. Separately, the legislation would permanently protect and restore a 26 million-acre (10.5 million-hectare) system composed of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s most historic and scenic lands and waters, including the Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado and Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas. Environmental and historic groups praised the legislation. “Future generations will look back at this day as a major milestone in our nation’s conservation history,” said William Meadows, president of the Wilderness Society. “It has been a long and difficult road, but today, Congress acted on behalf of hunters and anglers who understand the need for intact habitat,” said Tom Reed of Trout Unlimited. (Editing by Andy Sullivan and Peter Cooney) © Thomson Reuters 2008. All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this website for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Thomson Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters and its logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Thomson Reuters group of companies around the world.

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Conspiracy Theory Revision:

US Government could be staking out land in the west as collateral for the massive debt that ensnares our economy, as land gains value.

My First Post March 26, 2009

Posted by Afflatus in History.
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Whats up yall. My friends and I decided to make our first blog, and this is what we’ve come up with. We hope to update the layout and skin to make it look cooler, eventually. I’m excited to see how this all works out.

We’re envisioning this blog to be a forum where we can share ideas, links, media, thoughts, anything. I expect it to be open to anyone who wants to comment. When discussion takes place, I expect it to be rational and respectful.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say that this blog is open to ideas from all sides of the political spectrum. I just hope to share thoughts, which stimulate more thoughts. Peace!

– Jonathan