This is an odd article about the introduction of large herbivores to Germany to try to achieve a different balance of plant life. Or I found its optimism odd.
With its tiny houses nestled along the main road and its red-brick church, Töpchin — just 25 miles outside of Berlin — is a traditional-looking Brandenburg village. But heading east through the marshland that borders the village, a visitor encounters the unexpected: five huge Asian water buffaloes.
The species was native to Europe until 10,000 years ago, when hunting shrunk its range to the continent’s far southeast. So Germans know these beasts only from pictures of them in fields and rice paddies in Asia. “Some people are really confused when they see the water buffaloes,” says Holger Rössling, the man who set the animals free in Töpchin in the summer of 2011. But the black creatures with massive horns and an impressively muscular build appear to be very much at ease in their new home. And they are meant to stay.
Rössling is a project manager with the Brandenburg Nature Conservation Fund, a government agency in the federal state surrounding Berlin. The group brought in the water buffaloes from a special breeder in France so they would graze threatened tracts of fens and remnant inland salt marshes, as German cows have long since lost their affinity for grazing in such wet or nutrient-poor environments.
I guess that water buffalo are hardly white tail deer – they won’t soon proliferate in such numbers to become a nuisance to Brandenburgers – but the experiment seems like one big unintended consequence. The article also discusses the introduction of Przhevalsky horses (Mongolian, originally) and various other large herbivores.
The meteorite that fell in Russia really puts the possible damage from an asteroid strike into perspective – this was only 10 tons! Luckily that asteroid is going to pass 17,000 miles away. Sheesh!
I’ve checked off and on since 7:30 – since which time the temperature on MY thermometer has risen from 34 to 37 – and weather.com is continuing to claim that Geneva, NY 14456 is experiencing light snow showers that will increase all day.
From where I sit it’s overcast. Nothing has fallen all morning.
I think naming winter storms has gone to their heads.
Further: 11:30 a.m. 38 degrees. Still nothing. Weather.com? “Periods of snow. A brief lull in the precipitation is possible by 1pm.” Well, if precipitation hasn’t started, having none doesn’t constitute a “lull.” I look at the radar and wonder if it’s accurate.
2:30 p.m. – it started snowing around 1. It’s snowing hard now – but it’s still 36.
Speeding up the diagnosis of plain ol’ TB versus multi-drug resistant TB is a help. There are lots of other problems – for instance, treating the larger number of people diagnosed with MDR tuberculosis!
So how old is cheese? I never cease to be thrilled by what we have learned to do – archaeologists have analyzed the lipids trapped in ceramic sieves to figure out that farmers were processing milk into cheese in what is now Poland 7000 years ago! As a dedicated cheese and yogurt eater, I’m grateful for the lactose mutation.
60,000 last year – one third of their families seem not to have been consulted. Some number of the dead were conscious – and did not give their consent – when the decision was made for them. The Health secretary thinks it’s a “fantastic step forward” that the typical time-to-death is 29 hours.
Can you say “death panels”? I knew you could – you just didn’t believe it because it was Sarah Palin saying it.
Not the kind of thing that can be mass-distributed — too many complications, it sounds — but it’s something for multidrug resistant TB types. The more I read about TB the more horrible life before modern drugs sounds.
Except when it might interfere with elections. Scientific findings and ethics rules be damned, then. Or here. This from the self-styled most transparent administration in history.
My favorite fossils, since I was little.
But I do dislike waking up earlier because of a government decision to change the time.