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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Daily Drift

Time Goes By… Life Goes On by im pastor rick on Flickr.
Time goes by ...

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Today in History

1099 At the Battle of Ascalon 1,000 Crusaders, led by Godfrey of Bouillon, route an Egyptian relief column heading for Jerusalem, which had already fallen to the Crusaders.
1687 At the Battle of Mohacs, Hungary, Charles of Lorraine defeats the Turks.
1762 The British capture Cuba from Spain after a two month siege.
1791 Black slaves on the island of Santo Domingo rise up against their white masters.
1812 British commander the Duke of Wellington occupies Madrid, Spain, forcing out Joseph Bonaparte.
1863 Confederate raider William Quantrill leads a massacre of 150 men and boys in Lawrence, Kansas.
1864 After a week of heavy raiding, the Confederate cruiser Tallahassee claims six Union ships captured.
1896 Gold is discovered near Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada. After word reaches the United States in June of 1897, thousands of Americans head to the Klondike to seek their fortunes.
1898 The Spanish American War officially ends after three months and 22 days of hostilities.
1908 Henry Ford's first Model T rolls off the assembly line.
1922 The home of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C. is dedicated as a memorial.
1935 President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Social Security Bill.
1941 French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain announces full French collaboration with Nazi Germany.
1961 The erection of the Berlin Wall begins, preventing access between East and West Germany.
1969 American installations at Quan-Loi, Vietnam, come under Viet Cong attack.
1972 As U.S. troops leave Vietnam, B-52's make their largest strike of the war.
1977 Steven Biko, leader of the black consciousness movement in South Africa, is arrested.
1992 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is concluded between the United States, Canada and Mexico, creating the world's wealthiest trade bloc.

Non Sequitur


Olympians Decorate with Performance-Enhancing Tape

You probably noticed and have been wondering why so many Olympians from numerous events have masses of tape adhered across various body parts. It's called Kinesio Tape and was developed by a Japanese chiropractor to help heal injuries and and boost performance.
Kinesio claims to cut pain and boost performance. And judging by its prominence at this year's Games, athletes think it works.

"If you don't know the proper taping technique, you're not going to get the results you want," said Good, adding that more than 100,000 athletic trainers worldwide have taken the paid Kinesio Taping course, about 10,000 last year in the United States alone.

London 2012: Twenty Olympic Oddities

Most people are probably aware that Usain Bolt is the 100m Olympic champion, Team GB have done rather well and that Michael Phelps can swim a bit, but what about the less obvious details of the Olympics?

For example, why has the British national anthem been modified for medal ceremonies? Why have some of the athletes blue tongues before they do their events? And what are these little Minis running across the grass at the athletic events?

Random Celebrity Photo

Marilyn Monroe in 1947
Marilyn Monroe in 1947

Who is Paul Ryan?

Romney's VP choice is follower of militant atheist activist.
  A quick observation: How important could god be to Paul Ryan if his number one inspiration for going into public life is the works of militant atheist activist Ayn Rand?  The repugican leaders always claim that god is their number one inspiration, jesus their favorite philosopher.  Ryan's is a woman who made it her life mission to kill god and replace him with man.  Ryan can claim he's catholic until the cows come home - he's obviously not that religious if his number one reason for being a politician is the philosophies of an avowed atheist activist.

Mitt Romney has chosen uber-wingnut repugican House member Paul Ryan as his vice presidential candidate.

Ryan is most famous recently for his draconian bugget proposal that even fellow repugicans eventually walked away from.

Here is a quick bio on Ryan - what's interesting to me is that he only has a bachelor's degree.  While that's not, in the modern era it's not at all uncommon for presidential candidates to have gone to graduate school as well (though, as the repugican party now has disdain for a college education, per Rick Santorum, this likely won't hurt Ryan with the repugican minions).

This also means that Ryan's supposed "expertise" in economics and budgeting comes from undergrad courses in economics.  Milton Friedman he ain't.

The other problem with Ryan's bio is that he has next to zero experience outside of Washington politics.  His only real work experience outside of government (or "consulting" to the family business), is working as a waiter at Tortilla Coast, as a trainer at a gym, and driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

Ryan's health is also a serious concern. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“‘(My father) died of a heartattack at 55, my grandfather died of a heart attack at 57, my great-grandfather died of heart attack at 59, so I’m into the health thing,’ says Ryan." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,4/26/09)
Ryan is a big fan of militant wingnut philosopher Ayn Rand:
"The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand," Ryan said during a 2005 event honoring Rand in Washington, D.C., the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in April 2009.

During the 2005 gathering, Ryan told the audience, "Almost every fight we are involved in here on Capitol Hill ... is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict -- individualism versus collectivism." The event was hosted by The Atlas Society, which prominently features a photo of Rand on its website and describes itself as a group that "promotes open Objectivism: the philosophy of reason, achievement, individualism, and freedom."

Ryan also said during a 2003 interview with the Weekly Standard, "I give out 'Atlas Shrugged' as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it. Well ... I try to make my interns read it.” He noted that he "looked into" Rand's work when he was younger, but reiterated that he is a Christian and reads the Bible often.

In 2009, Ryan posted two videos on his Facebook page raving about the importance of Rand's views.

"If 'Atlas Shrugged' author Ayn Rand were alive today, here's the urgent message I think she'd be conveying," Ryan wrote alongside the first video, titled "Ayn Rand's relevance in 2009."
So his favorite philosopher isn't god - but an avowed, militant atheist.  That should go over well with the base.

And here's the bio from an oppo doc.
Name: Paul Davis Ryan
Born: Jan. 29, 1970
Home: Janesville, Wisconsin
Education: BA, Economics/Political Science, Miami University, Ohio, 1992 Janesville Craig High School, 1988
Career: Legislative Director, United States Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, 1995-1997 Aide, United States Senator Robert Kasten of Wisconsin, 1992Economic Adviser, Speechwriter, Empower America, 1993 - 1995Former Speechwriter, Jack Kemp Vice Presidential CampaignFormer Speechwriter, Office of the Director of National Drug Control Policy Former President, Ryan Incorporated
Elected Office: Representative, United States House of Representative, 1998-present
Organizations: Member, Community Solutions and Initiatives CoalitionCo-Chair, Congressional Sportsmen’s CaucusMember, Ducks UnlimitedMember, Janesville Bowmen, IncorporatedBoard Member, Rock County Junior AchievementMember, Saint John Vianney's Parish Member, Saint Mary’s Parish
More on Ryan:

1. The Ryan budget raises taxes on the middle class - married couples earning between $100,000 to $200,000 a year would see their tax burden raise about $2700 because of eliminated deductions, while households earning more than $1 million a year would save $300,000.

4. Would end Medicare as we know it, moving the eligibility age up to 67 from 65, and putting caps on spending.  If senior don't like it, he'd give them a voucher to go get violated with a private insurance plan that would likely cost them their entire life savings.

6. Supports allowing states to jail women who get, and doctors who perform, abortions. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/26/98)

7. Would outlaw abortion, even for rape and incest (Associated Press, 9/26/98).

8. Ryan voted for the auto bailout, then criticized it (Janesville Gazette, 5/3/10).

9. Ryan voted for the Bush tax cuts, but felt they were too small (States News Service, 5/4/01).

First Read notes some other problems with Ryan:
There are also holes in Ryan’s budget-hawk armor: He voted for some of the biggest drivers of the deficit/debt -- the shrub tax cuts, the Iraq war, and the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, all of which weren’t paid for. Moreover, Ryan voted against the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles recommendations.

Has never held statewide office and has no foreign-policy experience. Both could be liabilities.
And while Romney has criticized Obama for not having private-sector experience, the same is largely true of Ryan: As the New Yorker has written, Ryan briefly worked for his family’s business as a “marketing consultant,” but most of his adult life has been spent as a congressman, congressional aide, or speechwriter/analyst at Jack Kemp’s Empower America think tank.
For your reading pleasure, here's a 290 page opposition research document with much more on Paul Ryan.

Fun fact: Ryan's childhood nickname is "P.D.," which in French means "f*g."

Paul Ryan gushes over his militant anti-God-activist mentor Ayn Rand

Remember, Ayn Rand was the single most important reason that Paul Ryan went into politics. You could call her his God, except that she didn't believe in God, and was an active critic and opponent of all religion, which is a funny person for a GOP vice presidential candidate to embrace when the Republican party is controlled by the God squad.
Ryan is now trying to convince folks that Rand is kooky and he had nothing to do with her.  Other than that little fact that he admitted publicly that she's the sole reason he went into publics.  The sole reason.  Not his Catholic faith.  But Ayn Rand. The chick whose mission in life was to kill God and replace him with man.

Now imagine had a Democratic done that.

Paul Ryan's hero Ayn Rand: No religion has ever offered anything of constructive value to human life

First, Paul Ryan on Ayn Rand:
NY Mag:
Representative Paul Ryan, also of Wisconsin, requires staffers to read Atlas Shrugged, describes Obama’s economic policies as “something right out of an Ayn Rand novel,” and calls Rand “the reason I got involved in public service.”
More from JS Online:
"The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand," Ryan said at a D.C. gathering four years ago honoring the author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead."
And now, Ayn Rand on God:
Playboy: Has no religion, in your estimation, ever offered anything of constructive value to human life?

Ayn Rand: Qua religion, no - in the sense of blind belief, belief unsupported by, or contrary to, the facts of reality and the conclusions of reason. Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. But you must remember that religion is an early form of philosophy, that the first attempts to explain the universe, to give a coherent frame of reference to man's life and a code of moral values, were made by religion, before men graduated or developed enough to have philosophy. And, as philosophies, some religions have very valuable moral points. They may have a good influence or proper principles to inculcate, but in a very contradictory context and, on a very - how should I say it? - dangerous or malevolent base: on the ground of faith. [Playboy interview with Ayn Rand]
Faith is the worst curse of mankind, as the exact antithesis and enemy of thought.
"...if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.... the alleged short-cut to knowledge, which is faith, is only a short-circuit destroying the mind. [Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged]"
Any questions?

David Frum describes perfect attack ad against Ryan

Frum is an interesting character. He's one of the few wingnut talking-heads who seems to say what he actually believes, rather than just parroting repugican political spin.
Frum says the Democrats' perfect attack ad against Paul Ryan will be a woman saying that Ryan is going to make it much harder for her to get Medicare when she returns:
"You've worked hard all your life. You've paid Medicare taxes for almost 30 years. But under the Republican plan, Medicare won't be there for you. Instead of Medicare as it exists now, under the Republican plan you'll get a voucher that will pay as little as half your Medicare costs when you turn 65—and as little as a quarter in your 80s. And all so that millionaires and billionaires can have a huge tax cut."
Frum ads, "That ad will draw blood and will—as Henry Kissinger used to say—have the additional merit of being true."

Did you know ...

63% of Americans demand that Mitt Romney release his tax returns

Steel mill polluted town as Romney firm profited

The rusty stains on Shirley Carter's home are a permanent reminder of her fight with the local steel mill, just down U.S. Highway 17 near the boat docks.

The truth be told

After long fight, opening day for Tennessee mosque

Muslims in the Tennessee city of Murfreesboro said Friday they hope the opening of their new mosque after more than two years of controversy will be a new beginning for relations with the community, particularly their opponents.

Retro Photo

June Palmer

Government won’t prosecute Goldman Sachs in fraud probe

I told everyone none of the banksters would see the inside of a courtroom much less a jail cell. I was hoping I'd be proven ever so wrong (never am I but I keep hoping). And I was correct. I hate when that happens:
[I]f Goldman is a proxy for Wall Street money, Obama was seriously bought by the banks in 2008.

The payback — zero banking prosecutions, including for billionaire thief (and Obama fundraiser) Jon Corzine, who will never see a courtroom or handcuffs.

It's the way it works, folks. Obama is employed, a wage-slave, just like you and me. Meet his paymasters.
As I say, I really want to be wrong about this stuff. Who wants to live in a country as corrupt as this one?

Now, turns out I was ever so right:
The Justice Department said Thursday it won’t prosecute Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs or its employees in a financial fraud probe. In a written statement, the department said it conducted an exhaustive investigation of allegations brought to light by a Senate panel investigating the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

“The department and investigative agencies ultimately concluded that the burden of proof to bring a criminal case could not be met based on the law and facts as they exist at this time,” the department said.
Bottom line — DoJ lets Goldman skate free.

It's at the discretion of the prosecutor whether to prosecute.

Some prosecutors — for example, in cases involving petty (brown-skinned) street crime — need only something approximating the possibility of a conviction, or near enough, so long as they have a single shaky witness from blocks away who might even look credible if cleaned up (or "coached").

Other prosecutors — for example, in cases involving Jon Corzine or others of Our Betters — need no less than a "smoking gun" plus crime scene photos of the perp as the bullet leaves the chamber — without which, they say, they just don't have enough to go to trial (do click, my characterization isn't far off; and yes, that's our hero Pat Fitzgerald talking).

Thus it is with Justice Dept — which in fine shrub tradition, is not just the nation's Justice Dept.:
Four years ago, employees of New York-based Goldman gave three-fourths of their campaign donations to Democratic candidates and committees, including presidential nominee Barack Obama.
For what it's worth (not much apparently) this is the evidence from the Senate that Obama's DoJ decided wasn't enough (note: Senate panels conduct inquiries under oath):
A Senate subcommittee chaired by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., in April 2011 found that Goldman marketed four sets of complex mortgage securities to banks and other investors but that the firm failed to tell clients that the securities were very risky.

The Senate panel said Goldman secretly bet against the investors’ positions and deceived the investors about its own positions to shift risk from its balance sheet to theirs. ...

The Justice Department’s decision capped a good day for Goldman as the Securities and Exchange Commission decided not to file charges against the firm over a $1.3 billion subprime mortgage portfolio. ...
Note the hippy-bashing in the sentence following the last one. The source for the Sun-Times article is the AP.

If this isn't fraud, nothing is fraud (so long as the perp is Goldman). And yes a very "good day for Goldman". Are we a banana yet, or just headed that way?

Now me, more directly. The Nixon pardon was ground zero for loss of Rule of Law. First it was one man, president-cum-king, the top guy, who could not be prosecuted. When Nixon said this
"When the president does it, it's not illegal."
— he had managed through his pardon to make himself correct.

Next, under Bush I, the circle of "unprosecutables" opened to include the cabinet, Weinberger et al. Today it includes any major banker, even known thief (and Obama fundraiser) Jon Corzine.

The circle of protection is still widening. I'd watch the Sheldon Adelson news if I were you. If Adelson can't be prosecuted — not convicted, that's for a jury; just prosecuted — you'll know the umbrella of immunity has opened further.

My sad prediction — Adelson skates, never sees a courtroom. What's the script? The Rs charge "political prosecution" and Holder backs down.

The result? Now no one funding a political campaign above a certain dollar amount can be brought to trial for anything but the personally-murdered recently dead (plus witnesses).

"On a scale from one to America, how free are you?" Not free enough, I suspect.


Wikileaks reveals ex-CIA agents running a face-recognition profiling company that surveils NYC subways, London stock exchange, Vegas casinos and more 
Newly released WikiLeaks publications from the Stratfor leak reveal much about Trapwire, a multi-country surveillance network run by a private US company, Abraxas, led by ex-CIA operatives. The network operates in NYC subways, the London Stock Exchange, Las Vegas casinos, and more. It uses real-time video facial profiling and is linked to red-flag databases.
Here is a US GOV pdf diagramming its workings. Here is an RT article on the subject.
The WikiLeaks publications related to Trapwire are difficult to access now because WikiLeaks.org and many of its mirrors are under heavy DDOS attack.
However you can see the publications here via Tor.
Australian activist @Asher_Wolf is organizing a nonviolent campaign against Trapwire, including an effort to spam the network with creative false positives.

WIPO's Broadcasting Treaty is back

... a treaty to end the public domain, fair use and Creative Commons 

The UN's World Intellectual Property Organization's Broadcasting Treaty is back. This is the treaty that EFF and its colleagues killed five years ago, but Big Content won't let it die. Under the treaty, broadcasters would have rights over the material they transmitted, separate from copyright, meaning that if you recorded something from TV, the Internet, cable or satellite, you'd need to get permission from the creator and the broadcaster to re-use it. And unlike copyright, the "broadcast right" doesn't expire, so even video that is in the public domain can't be used without permission from the broadcaster who contributed the immense creativity inherent in, you know, pressing the "play" button. Likewise, broadcast rights will have different fair use/fair dealing rules from copyright -- nations get to choose whether their broadcast rights will have any fair dealing at all. That means that even if you want to reuse video is a way that's protected by fair use (such as parody, quotation, commentary or education), the broadcast right version of fair use might prohibit it.
Worst of all: There's no evidence that this is needed. No serious scholarship of any kind has established that creating another layer of property-like rights will add one cent to any country's GDP. Indeed, given that this would make sites like Vimeo and YouTube legally impossible, it would certainly subtract a great deal from nations' GDP -- as well as stifling untold amounts of speech and creativity, by turning broadcasters into rent-seeking gatekeepers who get to charge tax on videos they didn't create and whose copyright they don't hold.
And since the broadcast right is separate from copyright, permissive copyright licenses like Creative Commons would not apply. That means that if you made a CC-licensed video -- as tens of millions of creators have -- that the web-host, the cablecaster, the satellite company or the broadcaster that made it available to the public could essentially strip off the license you provided and go back to an all-rights-reserved model, with them in the driver's seat.
Thanks, WIPO, for showing us once again what a corrupt, anti-creator, anti-free-speech, economically backwards waste of time and space you are.
During the last hours of the meeting, the WIPO Committee pursued discussions that led to the adoption of a single text titled “Working document for a treaty on the protection of broadcasting organizations” (which has not been published as of today)3. This working document will constitute the basis of further discussions to be undertaken in November in Geneva, which WIPO hopes will conclude with a consensus document to be signed as a treaty early 2013. If WIPO convenes this conference it is because members have reached a decision and a new treaty may be born.
This procedural detail is a really important one — despite there being no international consensus, WIPO is pushing for a treaty to be signed quickly. This is actually a cruel trend in other WIPO negotiations. In the past, it has seemed like the WIPO bureaucracy has pushed for a conclusion of treaties just because they have been in negotiation for a long period of time. For example, another long-running negotiation led to the adoption of a treaty about performance rights that was opposed by many.
We urge country Members to say no to the WIPO Broadcasting treaty—as they have said in the past. We continue to believe the preferable model for addressing these issues is the narrower signal-based approach in the Brussels Satellite Convention.
Negotiations for a 2014 WIPO Broadcasting Treaty Are Back

Random Photo

Brandalism Campaign Hits Billboards Across The UK

Brandalism was the name given to a street art campaign that covertly replaced billboards across the UK with works by artists such as Ron English, Leo Murray and Eyesaw.
The replacement pieces scathingly satirize the ideas and propaganda behind billboard ads, ranging from poignant and political to downright comical messages, like the Ron English ad for mythical meats pictured above.
25 artists from 8 countries gathered to take place in Brandalism, and you can see the rest of their subversive works at the link below.

Urban poor plagued by ‘burdens of place’

Most of America’s urban cores were designed for walking but offer little in the way of supermarkets, healthy restaurants and ...
Continue Reading

US drought threat to bread price

The cost of a loaf of bread is expected to rise after stifling droughts in the United States farm belt caused wheat prices to rocket.

Epic Fail

Ten Incredible Evolutionary Approaches to Psychology and the Mind

This cool infographic touches on some of the latest scientific developments that further our understanding of the mind's inner workings. Check it out. More

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Alignment begins ...

Dark Skies Bode Well for Perseid Meteors

The reliable and (potentially) most spectacular meteor shower of the year will peak on Aug. 12. Read more
Perseid meteor shower

Unusual Home

Severed Right Hands Excavated in Egypt

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs revealed the tradition of soldiers presenting severed right hands of the enemy in exchange for gold, and now, archaeologists excavating a palace in the ancient city of Avaris have confirmed the myth with this gruesome discovery:
The archaeologists have unearthed the skeletons of 16 human hands buried in four pits. Two of the pits, located in front of what is believed to be a throne room, hold one hand each. Two other pits, constructed at a slightly later time in an outer space of the palace, contain the 14 remaining hands.
They are all right hands; there are no lefts.
Owen Jarus of LiveScience has the story: here



How to Hide a Cell Phone Tower in Arizona

cell tower
This makes the landscape look good, but sooner or later they'll be penguins roosting in it. More

Down inside the crater

Let's walk near Gorely vocano in Kamchatka and see how snow, mountains, flowers and smoke unite to depict pictures of wild nature... More

Awesome Pictures

A stalactite cave in Israel that was discovered in 1968 is illuminated with colorful new lighting.

Hyenas that think outside the box solve problems faster

Innovative problem solving requires trying many different solutions. That’s true for humans, and now Michigan State University researchers show that ...
Continue Reading 

Research on language gene seeks to uncover origins of singing mouse

Singing mice (scotinomys teguina) are not your average lab rats. Their fur is tawny brown instead of the common white ...
Continue Reading

Arizona Penguins to be Left Homeless

penguinThe historic Eastman Gin in Phoenix, Arizona, is going to be dismantled. The town council has allocated $70,000 for the demolition of the 84-year-old gin.
Town officials say the cotton gin, which operated until 2005, is structurally unsound and filled with roosting penguins. They’re concerned that the town will be liable if someone is hurt inside.
It’s possible that the quote was supposed to say “pigeons,” but one week and quite a few comments later, the story has not been altered. More

Dog Saved Puppies From Burning House

As firefighters in Chile battled a house fire, photographer J. Monsalve noticed a dog going back and forth rescuing her puppies. The dog, named Amanda, dragged her 10-day old puppies one by one and placed them in the safety of a firetruck.
More (in Spanish) [translated]

Arthritic Dog: Best friend for life

John Unger adopted Schoep, who is named after a famous brand of Wisconsin ice cream, when he was just a puppy, and now that the dog has developed arthritis, he has trouble getting to sleep.‘Shep falls asleep every night when he is carried into Lake Superior. The buoyancy of the water soothes his arthritic bones. Lake Superior is very warm right now, so the temp of the water is perfect.

Dalmatian adopts abandoned spotted lamb

A lamb with markings like a dalmatian dog is turning heads in South Australia's Barossa Valley. The lamb belongs to local dalmatian breeder Julie Bolton and has been adopted by one of her dogs after being abandoned by its mother. Ms Bolton says she laughed when she first saw the animal.
"It is truly spotted. Black spots on a white-based coat which is the same as a dalmatian," she said. "Now the mother who doesn't have puppies at the moment is actually cleaning it and licking it and mothering it and it tries to mother up to her udder. The lamb follows the dog but it gets its milk from me from the bottle."

University of Adelaide animal behavior expert Dr Susan Hazel says bonds between different species are not uncommon. "The striking thing about this particular story is that the animals look alike. That's why people like it. It's a cute picture but it's not an unusual story," she said. "It's hard to know what goes on in the mind of an animal but I think a lamb, even with spots, a dog's going to know it's not a puppy.

"There are neuropeptides that we know are related to the formation of bonds in animals and also in humans." Dr Hazel says the fact that the lamb's coat resembles that of a dalmatian may be just a coincidence. "The bond that lambs form with their mother plays a very important part so I don't think just looking alike would be enough for a lamb to bond."

Family of bears broke into cabin and drank all the beer

A family of bears is suspected of having broken into a cabin in northern Norway and polished off over a hundred cans of beer. "They had a hell of a party in there," cabin owner Even Borthen Nilsen said. "The cabin has the stench of a right old piss up, trash, and bears." The bear, and three cubs, are reported to have forced their way into the cabin by ripping a wall off.

"The entire cabin was destroyed," Nilsen said. Nilsen told of how his mother and grandmother were the first to discover the carnage left by the beer-thirsty bears, when they arrived at the cabin in Jarfjord in Finnmarken only to find the place turned over. "The beds and all kitchen appliances, stove, oven and cupboards and shelves were all smashed to pieces," he said.

And furthermore the bears had finished off all the food and drink in the house - including all the marshmallows, chocolate spread, honey and over 100 cans of beer. Nilsen explained that excrement on the outside of the cabin left him in no doubt that it was a family of bears which had taken over his cabin for night of feasting and drunken revelry.

"You can see footprints on the windows," he said. Borthen Nilsen expressed concern that the bears may return to scene of their crime at some point in the future. "The mother has taken her young there, thus there is no guarantee that it won't happen to other cabins, or to our hut again," he said.

Animal Pictures


Victoria Crowned Pigeon (by Jennifer Stuber)