Category - Animal World

German barn explosion caused by 90 farting cows

Salon, By Lindsay Abrams

On the many dangers of methane gas

Cows, man. Their manure, belches and flatulence are a major contributor to human-caused emissions of methane gas, itself sizable contributor to global warming. They pose a more immediate danger, too, the AFP reports:

Flatulence from 90 cows in a German barn sparked a methane gas explosion that damaged the building and left one cow slightly injured with burns, police said Tuesday.

“In the barn for 90 dairy cows, methane built up for unknown reasons and was probably ignited by a static discharge, exploding in a darting flame,” said local police in the central town of Rasdorf in Hesse state.

“Parts of the roof cover were slightly damaged and a cow suffered minor burns,” said police, adding that a fire crew rushed to the scene of Monday’s accident and a gas field crew later measured methane levels.

More at the link

Living in the middle of a miracle

Two Young Women Went On a Canoe Trip. What They Caught on Video Will Stun You.

From The Good Men Project

As a man (vs. a boy), I often get caught up in the day to day process of getting it all done. I forget joy. I forget nature. I forget that its all so amazing. When we’re kids, the wonder of the world is right there. As a man, I’m supposed to be excited by a fumble in football, or a spike in the stock market. And don’t get me wrong, that stuff is fine. But this? This reminds me I’m living in the middle of a miracle.

The first few seconds of the film are still-frames, but just wait until the video starts—you will be astounded. Two young filmmakers in Ireland, Sophie and Liberty, document a natural phenomenon that will remind you of the deeply miraculous nature of the world around us. Some folks will see the hand of God in this, others, the wonder of Darwin’s natural world. Whatever your point of view, you must agree our world is an amazing place.

More at the link

This week’s Headline of the Year

PETA: Chicken Causes Small Penises

PETA-TOO-MUCH-SEX-largeFindings published by the Study for Future Families showed that eating poultry during pregnancy may lead to smaller penis size in male infants. Looking at dairy products, eggs, fish, fruit, bird meat, potatoes, tomatoes, vegetables, and red meat, researchers found the most significant link between chicken consumption and decreased penis size because of a chemical compound found in the meat. Furthermore, evidence indicates that heterosexual women’s sexual satisfaction depends in part on their partner’s penis size. Now that you are well endowed with this information, I hope you will have the backs of future Buffalo residents and visitors by not allowing their pregnant mothers to participate in the wing-eating contest.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably mention that I’m a huge supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Their work to prevent animal cruelty is both laudable and worthy of support. Being vegan, Read More

Decent People

Last Sunday I witnessed the third or forth instance of busy traffic stopped to allow geese to cross the road.  I’m talking about Northern Virginia traffic, a strong number two on the top ten Worst Cities for Traffic according to The Weather Channel.  Each time this happened, as I approached the stalled cars, I felt irritated and wondered what moron was holding things up.  Once I realized the delay was for safe passage for the geese, I calmed down and noticed how others sat, waiting patiently for the pokey geese to make their short trip.
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EPA to Allow Consumption of Toxic Fracking Wastewater by Wildlife and Livestock

EcoWatch

New Mexico Coalition for Community Rights

Millions of gallons of water laced with toxic chemicals from oil and gas drilling rigs are pumped for consumption by wildlife and livestock with the formal approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to public comments filed yesterday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Contrary to its own regulations, EPA is issuing permits for surface application of drilling wastewater without even identifying the chemicals in fluids used for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, let alone setting effluent limits for the contaminants contained within them.

The EPA has just posted proposed new water discharge permits for the nearly dozen oil fields on or abutting the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming as the EPA has Clean Water Act jurisdiction on tribal lands. Besides not even listing the array of toxic chemicals being discharged, the proposed permits have monitoring requirements so weak that water can be tested long after fracking events or maintenance flushing. In addition, the permits lack any provisions to protect the health of wildlife or livestock.

“Under the less than watchful eye of the EPA, fracking flowback is dumped into rivers, lakes and reservoirs,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that in both the current and the new proposed permits the EPA ignores its own rules requiring that it list “the type and quantity of wastes, fluids or pollutants which are proposed to be or are being treated, stored, disposed of, injected, emitted or discharged.”

“Gushers of putrid, grayish water encrusted with chemical crystals flood through Wind River into nearby streams,” he added.

Surface disposal of water produced by oil and gas drilling is forbidden in the Eastern U.S. but allowed in the arid West for purposes of “agricultural or wildlife propagation,” in the words of the governing federal regulation. Thus, the “produced water,” as it is called, must be “of good enough quality to be used for wildlife or livestock watering or other agricultural uses.”

In the last decade, fracking fluids often consisting of powerfully toxic chemicals have been included in this surface discharge. The exact mixture used by individual operators is treated as a trade secret. But one recent analysis identified 632 chemicals now used in shale-gas production. More than 75 percent of them affect the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems; 40-50 percent impact the kidneys and the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems; 37 percent act on the hormone system; and 25 percent are linked with cancer or mutations.

More at the link