Contaminated Property Investors

http://www.winefieldinc.com/brownfield.html

What cold-weather gear is worth your extra dollars

Dressing for the weather – especially here in Manitoba can be pricey. After all, layers upon layers can add up quickly.

WINNIPEG — Dressing for the weather, especially here in Manitoba can be pricey. After all, layers upon layers can add up quickly.

There are definitely places you can splurge and a couple of areas you can save.

Here’a a bit of a breakdown to help you direct your money to the areas where it’s needed most.

LONG UNDERWEAR

There are basically two main choices to choose from. Synthetic fabrics like polyester, compared to the pricier merino wool.
Polyester wicks away moisture from your body and is better for the more active outdoors person. And for the price, it’s your best bet. It’s usually less than half the price for the wool variety.

Those long johns will help you out in a wide variety of temperatures and doesn’t absorb odor. They are also good for the environment. You won’t have to wash these as much as the synthetic brand.

BOOTS AND YOUR FEET

When it comes to what you put on your feet, it’s important to think about what you’ll be doing outside says Anne Batac, from the Work Boot Factory.

“A temperature rating is important to look at and for most of us a rating of -30 C is good enough,” says Batac.

You’ll want a boot with good insulation and an outer sole that’s made of rubber so it can handle the icy streets.

So-called “fashion boots” that don’t have a temperature rating will make your cold much more quickly. Good for running from the house to car, but not much else.

Socks are also very important.

“Cotton socks tend to not work very well,” says Ken Berg of Mountain Equipment Co-op. “One of the reasons is they don’t really wick moisture away from your skin so you will end up getting cold.”

It’s a good idea to have some space in your boot so that it’s not constricting blood flow.

Items that are right up against your skin like socks, and even long johns are worth the extra money to help keep you warm.

MITTS

For warmth, mittens are always the way to go.

They keep you warmer because all your fingers are being kept together instead of separated in gloves.

Berg recommends mittens with a higher pile on the inside always helps to keep you toasty.

If you don’t have the best gloves or mitts another inexpensive option are the hand warmers you can buy almost anywhere. And you can put them in boots!

Berg notes that if you haven’t used up all the time on your warmer – put them in a Ziploc bag, take out the air, and the next time you take them out they won’t work quite as well but you’ll still get a bit of the heat out of them.

JACKETS

If there is one splurge in winter – it should be your jacket.

However you can save some money by buying a lighter outerwear jacket. Just make sure it’s a material that can block the wind. That way you can still layer underneath and get some added warmth by pairing it with something you already have like a big sweater or lightweight fleece.

Down coats will cost you more because there are no cold spots in the jacket and the construction overall is usually better.

And like Berg says, “after all, this is Winnipeg. It’s really worth the investment to have a really good winter jacket.”

© Shaw Media, 2016

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Source: What cold-weather gear is worth your extra dollars

DogDaz Zoo: Lynx Family Moment

Snuggle up and stay warm kiddies…!

DogDaz Zoo

Lynx by Isaac Baquero Pérez

Just like a house cat, they look so soft and cuddly – DogDaz

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Be careful driving, Willamette Valley gets 2nd round of ice, blustery showers.

You can expect wetter weather on and off through early next week

A second round of ice is expected in the Gorge Wednesday night and into Thursday. (KOIN)
A second round of ice is expected in the Gorge Wednesday night and into Thursday. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A second round of showers moved in along the coast and in the Willamette Valley on Wednesday night, a day after an ice storm caused thousands of power outages across the metro area.

KOIN 6 Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke says the system will be a windy one, with gusts on the coast reaching 55 mph.

Temperatures will be below freezing in the Gorge and east of the mountains starting Tuesday evening. (KOIN)

Winds will also pick up in the Portland metro area with gusts up to 30 mph overnight and even 40 mph on Thursday. This could bring down large branches and even some trees, so be careful out on the roads.

There will be a lull in the rain after morning with a round of heavy, blustery showers pushing in Thursday evening.

Freezing temperatures will mean more ice and freezing rain in the Gorge overnight and into Thursday. A rise in temperatures will scour out the cold air and turn the ice back into rain in the afternoon.

Thankfully, the ice will be confined to the Gorge as temperatures in the valley warm up to the 40s overnight.

You can expect wetter weather on and off through early next week. There’s no sunshine in our immediate future, but temperatures are expected to be much milder with highs in the 50s.

Keep the weather in your hand all the time — download the PDX Weather App today.

Check the latest Weather Alerts on the KOIN 6 Weather page

 

A second round of showers moved in along the coast and in the Willamette Valley on Wednesday night, a day after an ice storm caused thousands of power outages across the metro area.

Source: Gorge gets 2nd round of ice, blustery showers in PDX

Should you Drop out of School?

Everything You Won’t Learn in College About How to Be Successful” by Michael Ellsberg

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“The Education of Millionaires: Everything You Won’t Learn in College About How to Be Successful” by Michael Ellsberg

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Julien Blanc’s Social Media:

F A C E B O O K: http://www.Facebook.com/JulienBlancOf…
T W I T T E R: http://www.Twitter.com/JulienHimself
I N S T A G R A M: http://www.Instagram.com/JulienHimself
S N A P C H A T: JulienHimself
P E R I S C O P E: JulienHimself

Related: 70’s interview with Margaret Thatcher:  

Thanksgiving Sunsets

20151126_155031 20151126_155039 20151126_155108 20151126_155138

southwest california wildlife sanctuary / foundation sunset, sunsets, sustainability, environment, ocean, sea, energy

 

This is how astronauts celebrate Thanksgiving in space

Happy intergalactic Thanksgiving!

Americans don’t have to be on Earth to get a day off for Thanksgiving. In a video published Monday, NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly spoke about their plans for the holiday.

“We’re gonna have the day off, which is great. We’re gonna watch some football,” said Kelly. Usually, the schedules of the International Space Station (ISS) crew are packed with science experiments and ISS maintenance work, among other things.

“We’re also gonna have a little Thanksgiving dinner of space food,” said Kelly. “We got some turkey, it’s smoked turkey. And some candied yams here. Some rehydratable corn and some potatoes au gratin.” Space.com notes that the two plan to share their traditional meal with the other, non-American members of the crew. Which is nice, except it all looks like paste. And neither could keep a straight face as they dug in.

“Wow,” Kelly said, biting into the yam, “they are delicious.” The yam does not look delicious.

Still, the astronauts seemed to be in good spirits when they spoke about what they’re thankful for this year. Lindgren said he was thankful for his friends, family, and NASA colleagues, adding that he’s grateful for his stint on the ISS:

We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be up here on the International Space Station, working and living in this amazing orbiting laboratory, a physical manifestation of what is possible when the great countries of the world work together with communication, cooperation and collaboration towards peaceful means.

Kelly spoke about his love for America, and how it feels to learn about Earthly tragedies from space:

Being on the space station here and looking down at our incredibly beautiful planet gives us a different perspective on what it means to be citizens of planet Earth and since I’ve been up here, we’ve seen so many bad things that often happen down there… it just makes me really thankful to live in a country like the United States that provides us with freedom and opportunity. For me, being a middle class kid from New Jersey, to just have the privilege to come up here and represent my country like this. So this is what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving, astronauts.

 Related

A Portrait of the Plains: Documenting A Changing Landscape

Beautiful: Absolutely Fabulous: 2015-09-10-1441917814-3519004-dsc_8907.jpg

Fourchette Creek
by Robin Walter

Morning light spills
through grass thick
with dew,
small whorls of dust
rise
from hooves
stamping their lives
into this ground.
Listen,

I rise
to the clatter
of birds:
small,
fierce,
and brown.

2015-09-10-1441917952-4493945-DSC_2318.jpg

2015-09-10-1441918074-4607900-DSC_2953.jpg

2015-09-10-1441918194-3820192-DSC_4306.jpg

2015-09-10-1441919184-3628301-dsc_9614.jpg

2015-09-10-1441919399-5494386-img_9201.jpg

2015-09-10-1441921638-6126796-dsc_0124.jpg

2015-09-10-1441921035-6407617-img_9469.jpg

Emilio Cogliani

Fourchette Creek
by Robin Walter

Morning light spills
through grass thick
with dew,
small whorls of dust
rise
from hooves
stamping their lives
into this ground.
Listen,

I rise
to the clatter
of birds:
small,
fierce,
and brown.

2015-09-10-1441917814-3519004-dsc_8907.jpg

2015-09-10-1441917893-7041547-dsc_0652.jpg

2015-09-10-1441917952-4493945-DSC_2318.jpg

2015-09-10-1441918074-4607900-DSC_2953.jpg

2015-09-10-1441918194-3820192-DSC_4306.jpg

2015-09-10-1441919184-3628301-dsc_9614.jpg

2015-09-10-1441919399-5494386-img_9201.jpg

2015-09-10-1441921638-6126796-dsc_0124.jpg

2015-09-10-1441921035-6407617-img_9469.jpg

This blog is part of an ongoing series following the Rediscover the Prairie expedition, a horseback journey across the Great Plains. To learn more please visit http://ift.tt/1B02Abg
All photos © Robin Walter or Sebastian Tsocanos. All rights reserved.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.


from Green – The Huffington Post http://ift.tt/1QDVvXP

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High Rates of Lead Poisoning / Asthma can be Life-Threatening in many Communities Worldwide

High Rates of Lead Poisoning / Asthma a deadly consequence of residing near industrialized neighborhoods.  Pollution resulting from our Built Environment have resulted in  extensive health disparities worldwide:
About 25% of the USA’a housing —some 24 million homes— contains significant lead-based paint hazards, i.e. deteriorating lead paint or lead contaminated dust. (HUD, 2009).

Benxi steel mills blowing smoke over residential buildings. Benxi was for long considered one of the most polluted city in China. Over the past decade thousands of workers have been made redundant as the city steel mills and power plants were closing down or reducing their output.
Benxi steel mills blowing smoke over residential buildings. Benxi was for long considered one of the most polluted city in China. Over the past decade thousands of workers have been made redundant as the city steel mills and power plants were closing down or reducing their output. Via Bing

The majority of resources and statistics concerning community correlations with respect to health disparities in the U.S. point to a direct correlation between industrialized, lower income communities and rates of Lead Poisoning / Asthma associated with living in a those particular communities. Over 4 million children in the U.S. had an asthma attack last year. (National Safety Council, 2015).
Better neighborhoods, generally associated with a higher income, had newer and higher housing standards, and were more financially able to comply with government regulations of lead content and smoke inhalation guidelines. Residents of privileged neighborhoods felt safer than families living in lower income neighborhoods. Poorer, disadvantaged neighborhoods where tenants are dependent on a landlord’s approval to address safety issues, may face a lengthy process if they wish to upgrade and make their living situation safer, or may not be able to afford a particular safety upgrade. This adds to feelings of perceived loss of personal control over ones own living situation resulting in an increased fear factor as well as elevated stress levels, which can have detrimental health effects.
When you’re a little more worried every day, you’re always a little more vigilant, looking around at things, checking people, places and things out a little more carefully. If you think about doing that day after day, year after year, it can be exhausting after a while. Constant worrying about stress and about how and when one is going to pay all the bills that are piling up adds an incredible amount of stress to life. Chronic stress wears on the body system resulting in lowered immunity and increased risk of disease and illness. (Lee, 2015).

Practitioner reports of disabled and impaired motor skills in children are more prevalent in older neighborhoods where lower income, minorities reside. Children in disadvantaged neighborhoods to be less likely to venture outside to exercise and inhale fresh breath fearing the consequences of doing so in a high crime neighborhood.

mex3
Mexico Beach House via JZ Photography

Other physical features that can have a negative effect on health outcomes:
1. Ground Soil Pollution: Lead manufacturing that has resulted in damages to the ground and environment having had profound affects on safe housing for families worldwide. Children from poorer families are the hardest hit by this type of pollution because parents don’t always have the additional resources to relocate their families to safer communities. Children have growing organs that are easily affected by toxic chemicals, and most kids participate in playtime that may include touching the ground on a regular basis exposing them to dangerous toxins.

2. Air Pollution: Asthma and other bronchial related problems resulting from Lead Poisons being emitted into the air as industrial factories release their by products in the form of poisonous gasses as a part of their manufacturing process. Children can be affected for decades after a plants closure. Lead findings as high as 70 times the USDA recommended Lead levels have had devastating effects on public health reports and statistics in towns where communities have been built close to lead and mercury producing facilities. (National Safety Council, 2009). Another similar source of pollution that would have residual effects for years to come was Regular gasoline that included a lead additive which was not known to be harmful till it was finally discontinued in the early 1980’s due to a government regulated Lead ban.

How affordable quality, and safe housing conditions promote health:

By educating practitioners, schools and parents, regarding the government resources available for improving all buildings and homes in an effort to get them up to code with acceptable levels of toxic lead and fume inhalation guidelines. All communities should be declared safe according to government standards, regardless of wealth or relative neighborhood status. We can minimize current health care problems and prevent future health issues by educating all individuals of their rights to safe housing, thus allowing all children to reach their full potential. Equal rights translate to equality of life expectancies throughout the U.S. for all residents. Our founding fathers created the U.S. Constitutional principles upon this premise. (Lee, 2012). Written by: JZ
References:

National Safety Council. (2009) Lead Poisoning. Retrieved from
http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/Fact%20Sheets/Lead-Poisoning- Fact- Sheet.pdf.

City of Roseburg. (2015). Public works projects. Retrieved from
http://www.cityofroseburg.org/departments/public-works/projects/.

Lee, E. (Producer & Director). (2008). Living in disadvantaged neighborhoods is bad for
your health [Video excerpt]. In L. Adelman (Executive producer), Unnatural causes:
Episode 5—Place matters. Arlington, VA: Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved from
http://www.unnaturalcauses.org/video_clips_detail.php?res_id=217.

 

Coral damage from BP’s Gulf of Mexico spill ‘extensive’

A plane drops chemicals to help disperse oil from a leaking pipeline that resulted from last week's explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Tuesday, April 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Courtesy of: chibuisiikwuagwu.com

A New study reveals that damage to coral resulting from the massive 2010 BP oil spill in the US Gulf of Mexico is worse than previously thought, according to reports.
The study, which will be published in the oceanography journal Deep-Sea Research, found sick and dying corals in the Pinnacles, an outcropping on the Continental Shelf that is home to a rich, deep-water environment about 70 miles (113 kilometres) off the coasts of Alabama and Mississippi.

Researchers from Florida State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explored the Pinnacles using remotely operated submarines to locate more than 400 colonies of injured coral in 2011,according to wire service Associated Press

The coral was covered in a “scum” of dead tissue and oily residue, while some showed signs of more severe damage, such as bare skeletons and missing branches.

The damage from the spill could be even greater, AP reported.

“The area we have looked at so far is only the tip of the iceberg,” the wire service quoted one of the researchers as saying.

The colonies in the study are about 35 miles to 68 miles (56 kilometres to 109 kilometres) north of BP’s blown-out Macondo well, which spewed more than 3 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Previous discoveries of coral damage were found south of the well and in much deeper water. The coral in the Pinnacles live about 200 feet under the water surface, AP reported.

The researchers believe the damage began when oil floating over the Pinnacles was sprayed with chemical dispersants, causing the oil to sink and contaminate the reef. The study also hypothesises that a tropical storm that passed over the Pinnacles in the summer of 2010 could have caused the oil to contaminate the coral.

Source: Upstream  Related: Clean up Products could cause greater damage

A plane drops chemicals to help disperse oil from a leaking pipeline that resulted from last week’s explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Tuesday, April 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

In the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill, cleanup crews dumped some 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersants into the Gulf of Mexico.

The substances were supposed to assist natural oil-eating bacteria in cleaning up the largest marine oil spill in history by breaking the oil into droplets the microbes could more easily consume.

But the approach backfired, suggests a study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The dispersants did a great job in that they got the oil off the surface,” University of Georgia marine scientist Samantha Joye, a co-author of the study, told the Associated Press. “What you see is the dispersants didn’t ramp up biodegradation.”

What’s bothersome, Joye told The Atlantic, is that 24 to 55 percent of the oil spilled from the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast is unaccounted for. She suspects much of it is on the seafloor.
For the study, Joye and her team simulated the Gulf’s conditions in a laboratory. They found that “dispersants can exert a negative effect on microbial hydrocarbon degradation rates.”

Oil with no dispersant actually “degraded a heckuva lot faster than the oil with dispersants,” she told the AP.

Dispersants work a lot like dish detergent, breaking up oil slicks into lots of small droplets. Gulf responders turned to these chemicals, namely Corexit — which studies have since shown can be harmful to various types of marine life — to address the roughly 200 million gallons of oil that spilled from the Deepwater Horizon rig.

The microbes the dispersants were meant to help were the “last (and only) defense” against the ongoing spill, Scientific American noted about a month after the spill.
The major question moving forward: Should dispersants be used to fight future spills?

Doug Helton, coordinator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Response and Restoration Incident Operations, addressed the BP cleanup process on the agency’s website this year.

“Once oil is spilled there are no good outcomes and every response technology involves trade-offs,” he wrote. For example, he noted, using dispersants to decrease the amount of floating oil puts some organisms and environments at risk, but reduces risk potential for others.

“Until we stop using, storing and transporting oil, we have the risk of spills,” he wrote. “The decision to use dispersants or not use dispersants will never be clear cut. Nor will it be done without a lot of discussion of the trade-offs. The many real and heart-felt concerns about potential consequences aren’t dismissed lightly by the responders who have to make tough choices during a spill.”

In 2013, despite scientists’ claims that dispersants are toxic to marine life, BP CEO Bob Dudley defended their use in the cleanup efforts the company funded.

“In hindsight no one believes that that was the wrong thing and it would have been much worse without the use of it,” he said. “I do not believe anybody — anybody with almost common sense — would say waves of black oil washing into the marshes and beaches would have been a better thing, under any circumstances.”

Joye, however, said a person could argue that in the case of Deepwater Horizon, it would have been better to have left the organisms alone.

“Nobody wants to see oiled birds, turtles and dolphins, but the bottom line is that if you disperse that oil, it’s still in the water,” she told The Atlantic. “You feel better, but is it improving the situation? My gut instinct is that I would put my faith in the microbial communities to do their job.”

Last week, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative announced that it will award nearly $38 million to individuals and teams studying the effects of oil, as well as dispursants, on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and public health.
Source: The Huffington Post

Chibuisi Ikwuagwu's Blog

A new study reveals that damage to coral resulting from the massive 2010 BP oil spill in the US Gulf of Mexico is worse than previously thought, according to reports.
The study, which will be published in the oceanography journal Deep-Sea Research, found sick and dying corals in the Pinnacles, an outcropping on the Continental Shelf that is home to a rich, deep-water environment about 70 miles (113 kilometres) off the coasts of Alabama and Mississippi.

Researchers from Florida State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explored the Pinnacles using remotely operated submarines to locate more than 400 colonies of injured coral in 2011,according to wire service Associated Press

The coral was covered in a “scum” of dead tissue and oily residue, while some showed signs of more severe damage, such as bare skeletons and missing branches.

The damage from the spill could be even greater, AP reported.

View original post 150 more words

The “Driest place on Earth” is covered in pink flowers after rain

The Atacama Desert in Chile, known as the driest place on Earth, is awash with color after a year’s worth of extreme rainfall.

In an average year, this desert is a very dry place. Arica, Chile, in the northern Atacama holds the world record for the longest dry streak, having gone 173 months without a drop of rain in the early 20th century. In another Atacama neighbor to the south of Arica, the average annual rainfall in the city of Antofagasta is just 0.07 inches.

But strong El Niño years can be a rainy boom for the region, located just to the east of the warmest ocean water on the globe. In March, heavy thunderstorms brought 0.96 inches of rain in one day to parts of the Atacama Desert. This doesn’t seem like that much, but it was a huge rainfall event for the desert — over 14 years of rain in one day. The torrent caused the typically dry Copiapo River to swell far beyond its banks. Flooding killed at least nine people that day.

As El Niño strengthens, so does the rainfall increases across South America. As areas of low pressure swing east into the Andes Mountains, the usually warm waters off the coast provide more than enough water vapor to fuel extreme rainfall events.

The malva (or mallow) flowers on the floor of the Atacama desert bloom every five to seven years, usually coinciding with El Nino. But they have been taking advantage of this year’s particularly rainy conditions, leading to the “most spectacular blossoming of the past 18 years.”

Interestingly, Death Valley has also been overflowing this month. The official weather station at Death Valley National Park recorded 0.55 inches of rain on Oct. 5. That might not seem like a lot, but it’s a bucket-load for the world’s hottest location — enough to tie the wettest 24-hour period on record in the month of October.

“A series of unusual storms in October caused large amounts of damage throughout Death Valley National Park,” park officials wrote on Facebook. “Flash floods destroyed significant portions of multiple roads and heavily damaged several historic structures at Scotty’s Castle and deposited debris in Devils Hole.”

The Death Valley National Historic Association has set up a fund to help restore some of these damaged historic locations.
via: The Washington Post.

Source: The ‘driest place on Earth’ is covered in pink flowers after rain

It is Difficult to measure Global Warming Erosion due to “Shifting” Weather Patterns

According to NASA, Antarctica is actually gaining ice.368c648c-546b-4ed2-b9c1-838a2afeb85b-2060x1236

Antarctica is currently gaining more ice than it’s losing, according to a recent study by NASA.

 The surprising findings, detailed in the Journal of Glaciology, doesn’t deny that glaciers are melting at an increased rate as a result of global warming, but suggests current gains outweigh the losses in other areas. Using satellite data, researchers estimate the Antarctic ice sheet had a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice per year from 1992 to 2001. This net gain eventually slowed between 2003 and 2008 to 82 billion tons of ice per year.

“We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said lead researcher Jay Zwally from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica—there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.”

 The study challenges previous research, including the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2013 report (pdf), which attributed 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise to a melting Antarctica.

But if Antarctica is not losing land ice overall, then where is this sea-level rise coming from? Researchers aren’t sure, suggesting there is another contribution to sea level rises that has yet to be accounted for.

The findings show just how difficult it is to measure changes in Antarctica. Researchers analyzed variations in the surface height of the Antarctic ice sheet using radar instruments on two European Space Agency satellites from 1992 to 2001, and by laser sensors on a NASA satellite from 2003 to 2008. While other scientists had also observed gains in elevations in East Antarctica, they had wrongly attributed it to recent snowfall. Researchers used meteorological data dating back to 1979 to show the ice cores in the area had in fact been thickening.

Antarctica may not be contributing to sea level rises, but researchers caution against celebrating as the current trend could reverse within a few decades. Courtesy of: Quartz. http://qz.com/538902

All about Bats

Carlsbad Bat Caverns, Montana via Bing

Bat caves:
Bats stay up all night catching bugs,  during daylight hours, bats lead a completely different life. A bat will pass the time hanging upside down from a secluded spot, such as the roof of a cave, the underside of a bridge or the inside of a hollowed-out tree.

Bats hanging upside down via Bing

There are a couple of different reasons why bats roost this way. First of all, it puts them in an ideal position for takeoff. Unlike birds, bats can’t launch themselves into the air from the ground. Their wings don’t produce enough lift to take off from a dead stop, and their hind legs are so small and underdeveloped that they can’t run to build up the necessary takeoff speed. Instead, they use their front claws to climb to a high spot, and then fall into flight. By sleeping upside down in a high location, they are all set to launch if they need to escape the roost.

How Bats Work
The Brown Bat is one of the most common bat species in North and South America. It roost in large colonies, often in attics, barns and other man-made structures. via Georgia Museum of Natural History

Hanging upside down is also a great way to hide from danger. During the hours when most predators are active (particularly birds of prey), bats congregate where few animals would think to look and most can’t reach. Effectively, this allows them to disappear from the world until night comes again. There’s also little competition for these roosting spots, as other flying animals don’t have the ability to hang upside down.

Bats have a special physiological adaptation that enables them to hang around this way. For you to clench your fist around an object, you contract several muscles in your arm, which are connected to your fingers by tendons; as one muscle contracts, it pulls a tendon, which pulls one of your fingers closed. A bat’s talons close in the same way, except that their tendons are connected only to the upper body, not to a muscle.

To hang upside down, a bat flies into position, opens its claws and finds a surface to grip. To get the talons to grab hold of the surface, the bat simply lets its body relax. The weight of the upper body pulls down on the tendons connected to the talons, causing them to clench. Since it is gravity that keeps the talons closed, instead of a contracted muscle, the bat doesn’t have to exert any energy to hang upside down. In fact, a bat will continue to hang upside down if it dies in that position. To release the surface it is gripping, the bat flexes other muscles that pull its talons open.

Most bat species will roost in the same location every night, joining a large colony of bats that cluster together for warmth and security. Bats have been known to demonstrate remarkable acts of altruism to support the colony. In some cases, when a bat is ill and cannot hunt for its own food, other bats from the colony will bring food back to it. Scientists don’t fully understand the dynamics of bat colonies, but they are clearly complex, tight-knit social communities.

Like all mammals, bats are warm-blooded, meaning they maintain their body temperature internally. But unlike most mammals, bats allow their body temperature to sink to the ambient temperature when they are not active. As their temperature drops, they enter a torpor state, in which their metabolism slows down. By reducing their biological activity and not maintaining a warm body temperature, bats conserve energy. This is important, as flying all night is extremely hard work.

During the winter, when temperatures are cold for months at a time, some bats will enter a deeper torpor state called hibernation. This allows them to live through the months in which food is very scarce. Other bat species follow a yearly migration pattern, traveling to cooler climates in the warm months and warmer climates in the cool months. This is why some regions experience “bat seasons” every year.

When bats do come to town, a lot of people are made uneasy in the evening and at night. They worry about bats biting, sucking blood and even getting caught up in people’s hair. But as it turns out, all of these occurrences are extremely rare. As we’ll see in the next section, bats are usually harmless to people, and many species are actually beneficial. Article courtesy of: howstuffworks.com

The Swimmer Trailer 1968

Shark Dreams

I love John Cheever and I love his story The Swimmer because it’s so brilliant,  but I love this movie because it’s so over the top and pretty awful. But Joan Rivers has a nice cameo and you can see Cheever himself in the poolside party scene.

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