Possible new record – for the birds!

Bar-tailed Godwits resting on the beach in Tasmania

A young bar-tailed godwit appears to have set a non-stop distance record for migratory birds by flying at least 13,560 kilometers (8,435 miles) from Alaska to the Australian state of Tasmania, a bird expert said Friday.

The bird was tagged as a hatchling in Alaska during the Northern Hemisphere summer with a tracking GPS chip and tiny solar panel that enabled an international research team to follow its first annual migration across the Pacific Ocean, Birdlife Tasmania convenor Eric Woehler said. Because the bird was so young, its gender wasn’t known…

Aged about five months, it left southwest Alaska at the Yuko-Kuskokwim Delta on Oct. 13 and touched down 11 days later at Ansons Bay on the island of Tasmania’s northeastern tip on Oct. 24, according to data from Germany’s Max Plank Institute for Ornithology. The research has yet to be published or peer reviewed…

“Whether this is an accident, whether this bird got lost or whether this is part of a normal pattern of migration for the species, we still don’t know,” said Woehler, who is part of the research project.

The track of this flight is over a thousand miles longer than the existing record. The little critter lost half it’s body weight on the journey.

A beautiful suicide

Robert C. Wiles

This powerful photo taken by Robert C. Wiles was published as a full-page image in the 12 May 1947 issue of Life Magazine. It ran with the caption: “At the bottom of the Empire State Building the body of Evelyn McHale reposes calmly in grotesque bier, her falling body punched into the top of a car“.

We didn’t own a TV set in 1947. My family and I saw the newsprint version of this photo the next day. LIFE magazine a few days after that.

LG and Honda will build battery plant in GOUSA

Japan’s Honda Motor Co will set up a new lithium-ion battery plant for electric vehicles in the United States with Korean battery supplier LG Energy Solution Ltd, the two companies said on Monday.

Battery makers are looking to increase production in the U.S. where a shift toward electric vehicles could increase as the country implements stricter regulation and tightens tax credit eligibility.


The investment will be $4.4 billion, the two companies said in a statement, aiming for annual production capacity of approximately 40 GWh with the batteries supplied exclusively to Honda facilities in North America to power Honda and Acura EV models.

The pair are expected to establish a joint venture before building the plant, with the start of construction planned for early 2023 and mass-production by the end of 2025.

$4.4 billion to build a manufacturing facility that can grow and provide core components throughout North and South America for decades to come. Seems smart enough to me. Too bad we haven’t more American investors with this level of cash, courage and economic understanding.

Dogs, reunited with their owners, cry tears of joy

Dogs literally cry tears of joy when they see their owners after they’ve been away, scientists have found in the first study of its kind that is also totally going to make us cry, too.

Published in the Current Biology journal, this study by Japanese researchers found not only that dogs shed happy tears, but also that the love hormone oxytocin — the same one that causes humans to feel emotional bonds with each other and with animals — may be underlying that mechanism.

Researcher and paper co-writer Takefumi Kikusui of Azabu University in Japan said in a press release about the study that he first began to wonder about oxytocin tears in dogs when his standard poodle gave birth to puppies about six years ago. He noticed then that his dog had tears in her eyes as she nursed the puppies, and has been fascinated by the topic ever since.

My parents bought my first dog for me when I was 5 years old. An Alaskan Husky, his name was Hank. And that’s about all I can put down on this page, right now.

Own a Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, 2020 thru 2022. Park it away from your home. It may catch fire!

Owners of some Hyundai and Kia SUVs that were recently recalled over fire risks should park them outdoors and away from homes until they are repaired, the United States Department of Transportation has said.

The South Korean automakers last week recalled thousands of Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride vehicles made from 2020 to 2022, citing a risk of fire while parked or driving due to a trailer hitch issue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website showed…

Kia said in a statement on Tuesday that six fires had been reported in model year 2020 Telluride vehicles, five of which involved “localized melting only”. The 2021 or 2022 models had no fires and were included in the recall as a precautionary measure, it added…

A Hyundai spokesperson later said there have been three confirmed Palisade fire incidents in Canada, but none in the US. The automaker is aware of eight related “melting” incidents in the US and eight in Canada, the spokesperson added, with no crashes or injuries…

“An accessory tow hitch sold through dealerships may allow moisture into the harness module, causing a short circuit,” the consumer alert said. “In some cases, an electrical short can cause a vehicle fire while driving or while parked and turned off.”

Yes, this is a very small percentage of these vehicles sold in North America. Don’t take a chance with the numbers. You would definitely hate to be the one idjit whose car set fire to his garage and home…after receiving this warning.

A Third Large Film Company to Headquarter in New Mexico

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Wednesday that…over the next six years, California-based 828 Productions plans to invest $75 million to build a 300,000-square-foot studio and 20-acre back lot, creating at least 100 high-paying jobs in Las Cruces. The firm began ramping up its production efforts in May 2022, filling key positions and purchasing a 7,500-square foot office building in downtown Las Cruces for training, post-production, and visual effects work.

The state of New Mexico will pledge $3 million to the project from the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) job creation fund as the company meets its job target of at least 100 full-time year-round employees.

“New Mexico is seeing a record number of productions from the film and television industry and all-time high spending, and it’s no accident,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “Not only are we are investing in studios like 828 Productions, we are expanding industry workforce training with a new film school in Albuquerque and Las Cruces – and it is paying off.”

My favorite kind of blog post. GOOD NEWS!

Porsche signs 25-year solar deal

Porsche said Monday that it plans to build and operate a solar power microgrid at its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, reducing its annual carbon emissions by 3.2 million pounds. The news came days after Ford announced what it called the largest-ever renewable energy purchase from a utility in the U.S., to power its electricity supply in Michigan with renewable energy.

The installation of Porsche’s microgrid, an on-site electrical network that harnesses power from solar panels, will begin in September and conclude in 2023. The renewable energy project is part of a $50 million development at the Porsche Experience Center campus in Atlanta.

Porsche’s 25-year operating agreement with Cherry Street Energy, the largest non-utility provider of solar energy in Georgia, will power Porsche’s on-site fleet of Taycan EVs, among other applications. The energy company will own, operate and maintain the microgrid, selling the power to Porsche.

Moving forward!

Kid’s Noses Fight COVID Better Than Adults’

That might be one reason why children’s immune responses have so far proven more effective at avoiding and fighting COVID-19, says Kirsty Short from the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland.

“Children have a lower COVID-19 infection rate and milder symptoms than adults, but the reasons for this have been unknown,” Short says…

“We’ve shown the lining of children’s noses has a more pro-inflammatory response to the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 than adult noses. But we found it’s a different ball game when it come to the Omicron variant…”

The results show the virus replicated less efficiently in the children’s nasal cells, as well as a heightened antiviral response…

‘Future clinical studies will be needed to validate these preliminary findings in a larger population and to determine the role of other factors’…but, meanwhile, what can we learn right from the front to aid our whole populations?

Majority of U.S. Workers Changing Jobs Are Seeing Real Wage Gains

The Great Resignation of 2021 has continued into 2022, with quit rates reaching levels last seen in the 1970s. Although not all workers who leave a job are working in another job the next month, the majority of those switching employers are seeing it pay off in higher earnings, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. government data.

From April 2021 to March 2022, a period in which quit rates reached post-pandemic highs, the majority of workers switching jobs (60%) saw an increase in their real earnings over the same month the previous year. This happened despite a surge in the rate of inflation that has eroded real earnings for many others. Among workers who remained with the same employer, fewer than half (47%) experienced an increase in real earnings…

Workers are split over how easy or difficult it would be for them to get the kind of job they’d want if they were to look for a new job today. About four-in-ten (39%) say it would be very or somewhat easy, while a similar share (37%) say it would be very or somewhat difficult…

Upper-income workers are significantly more likely than middle- and lower-income workers to say they’d have an easy time finding a job if they were looking today. Fully half of upper-income workers say it would be easy for them to find the kind of job they wanted, compared with 38% of middle-income workers and 34% of those with lower incomes.

I’d be curious to see the linkage between the economics of context, over time. Though I rarely had problems switching jobs, most of my life has been spent within the easy commuting space of cities with a solid growing economy. Even in hard times.