Today’s updates on NM movie set shooting

A veteran prop master said he turned down a job on the Alec Baldwin film “Rust” over warning signs on a production where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed last week by a prop gun fired by Baldwin.

“I turned the job opportunity down on ‘Rust’ because I felt it was completely unsafe,” Neal Zoromski told NBC News’ Miguel Almaguer…

Zoromski indicated that one potential issue that stood out to him was that producers combined the positions of assistant prop master and armorer into one job on the film.

“I impressed upon them that there were great concerns about that, and they didn’t really respond to my concerns about that,” Zoromski said.

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Detectives found loose and boxed ammunition, some of it in a fanny pack, at the New Mexico movie set of “Rust” after the fatal shooting of the Western’s cinematographer, according to a police search warrant inventory.

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Three black revolvers and nine spent shell casings also were collected, according to the list filed with the Santa Fe Magistrates Court and released Monday.

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Typically, ammunition would be kept in a single labeled box, veteran professional armorer Mike Tristano told The New York Times. “The fact that there is loose ammunition and casings raises questions about the organization of the armory department,” he said.

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And so it goes…

Oldest footprints in the Americas dated in White Sands


Dan Odess

The footprints look like they were left behind just moments ago by a barefoot visitor to New Mexico’s White Sands National Park, the amblings of a slightly flat-footed teen, each toe and heel impression crisply defined by a fine ridge of sand.

But this is no tourist track. These prints are among the oldest evidence of humans in the Americas, marking the latest addition to a growing body of evidence that challenges when and how people first ventured into this unexplored land.

According to a paper published today in the journal Science, the footprints were pressed into the mud near an ancient lake at White Sands between 21,000 and 23,000 years ago, a time when many scientists think that massive ice sheets walled off human passage into North America.

Exactly when humans populated the Americas has been fiercely debated for nearly a century, and until recently, many scientists maintained this momentous first occurred no earlier than 13,000 years ago. A growing number of discoveries suggest people were in North and South America thousands of years before…

…After decades of the field centering around a Clovis culture of only 13,000 years ago, change may finally be on the horizon. “I think we will not speak in terms of pre-Clovis possibilities,” Ciprian Ardelean says. “We will speak in terms of pre-White Sands and post-White Sands.”

I haven’t been to White Sands since I retired. There was a time I would pass by there [and stop in for a spell] every three or four weeks. One of the most beautiful places on this planet. Coupling that natural beauty with the earliest human settlers just makes it all the more intriguing.

Finch – the official Apple TV+ trailer

Tom Hanks stars as Finch, a robotics engineer and one of the few survivors of a cataclysmic solar event that has left the world a wasteland. But Finch, who has been living in an underground bunker for a decade, has built a world of his own that he shares with his dog, Goodyear. He creates a robot, played by Caleb Landry Jones, to watch over Goodyear when he no longer can. As the trio embarks on a perilous journey into a desolate American West, Finch strives to show his creation, who names himself Jeff, the joy and wonder of what it means to be alive. Their road trip is paved with both challenges and humor, as it’s as difficult for Finch to goad Jeff and Goodyear to get along as it is for him to manage the dangers of the new world.

Finch debuts November 5, 2021, on Apple TV+.

Personally, I can hardly wait!

Touring Trinity?


The Gadget at the Trinity Site in July 1945

By Dennis Overbye

TRINITY SITE, N.M. – Once, in another lifetime, I witnessed an atomic explosion. This was in the 1960s at the Nevada Test Site, a vast area about an hour northwest of Las Vegas where the American military tested bombs. I was working for EG&G, a military contracting company that, among other atomic chores, supplied all the instrumentation for the test site; it is now part of a company called Amentum. My job, to study the effects of nuclear explosions on the atmosphere, was sufficient to keep me out of the Vietnam War draft.

Cabriolet, as the test was called, contained the force of 2,300 tons of TNT. Detonated hundreds of feet underground, it was louder than I thought anything could ever be. The ground bulged, and a line of torches marking ground zero flew into the air. From a shaking trailer four miles away, my boss and I filmed tongues of fire erupting from the earth and congealing into an elephant-shaped cloud of dust that drifted off in the general direction of Montana.

Those were heady days in the atomic business, when people thought they could build harbors in a few microseconds of fury, or dig a new Panama Canal overnight in a domino of blasts, or even propel spaceships. Cabriolet was part of the Plowshare Program, which looked for peaceful civilian uses of nuclear explosions. Turns out all they are good for is terror.

And the rest of this article is about TRINITY SITE. Where the first atomic bombs were detonated. Just before we dropped one on Hiroshima…another on Nagasaki. RTFA. Fill out your knowledge of American history.

Tree burials in Japan

As early as the 1970s, public officials in Japan were concerned about a lack of adequate burial space in urban areas. They offered a variety of novel solutions, from cemeteries in distant resort towns where families could organize a vacation around a visit for traditional graveside rituals, to chartered bus trips to rural areas to bury loved ones. Beginning in 1990, the Grave-Free Promotion Society, a volunteer social organization, publicly advocated for the scattering of human ashes.

Since 1999, the Shōunji temple in northern Japan has attempted to offer a more innovative solution to this crisis through Jumokusō, or “tree burials.” In these burials, families place cremated remains in the ground and a tree is planted over the ashes to mark the gravesite…

While many families electing for tree burials do not explicitly identify as Buddhist or associate with a Buddhist temple, the practice reflects Japanese Buddhism’s larger interest in environmental responsibility. Perhaps influenced by Shinto beliefs about gods living in the natural world, Japanese Buddhism has historically been unique among Buddhist traditions for its focus on the environmental world.

All good news as far as I’m concerned. Over time, both of my parents were cremated and ended up in our family flower garden.

I wouldn’t mind just blowing in the wind up on top of the Caja del Rio mesa. Many fond memories of exploring walks up top. It commands the view to the West every day on my fenceline exercise walks.

$300M cannabis research facility to be built in New Mexico

Rural New Mexico will soon be the home to one of the nation’s largest cannabis manufacturing and research facilities, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Bright Green Corp. announced Monday – a $300 million investment in a state-of-the-art agricultural ecosystem on company-owned property in Grants, embracing the latest technology and automation, delivering consistency and purity to the production of high-quality cannabis for the advancement of medical research.

The project is expected to create more than 170 construction jobs and an initial 200 research and agricultural jobs…

“Governor Lujan Grisham, New Mexico’s federal delegation and the local and Tribal communities in Cibola County have worked with us from the beginning to create the right environment for innovation and research and we are excited to finally share news of this investment with the rest of New Mexico,” said Bright Green Chairman Terry Rafih…

“While much is written about the cannabis market, we believe the true contribution of cannabis lies in its medical applications,” said Ed Robinson, chief executive of Bright Green Corporation. “Our vision is to improve the quality of life across a broad demographic group through the opportunities presented by medicinal applications of plant-based therapies, including cannabis derived products.”

Yes, we know all the jokes we’ll be cracking over the coming weeks. Lots of reasons why NM is regarded as a stoners’ paradise. But, we have a longer, stronger history of scientific and medical research and those will be the best jobs created by this investment.

Keep on rocking, Governor Michelle!

¡Viva la gobernadora!

New Mexico in recent days became the state first to provide at least one dose to half of its adult population, and a nation-leading 38 percent of adults are fully vaccinated. It’s also among the top-performing states on equity: Over 26 percent of Blacks, 32 percent of Hispanics and 41 percent of Asians received at least one shot, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation review of the 41 states publicly reporting ethnic and racial data.

They are an exemplar,” said Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association. “Their model works.”

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Michelle Lujan Grisham is the thirty-second governor of the state of New Mexico, the first Democratic Latina to be elected governor in U.S. history…

A longtime state Cabinet secretary at both the New Mexico Department of Aging and Long-term Services and Department of Health, Lujan Grisham has been a leading advocate for senior citizens, veterans and the disabled as well as investments in health care infrastructure and innovative programming that has improved access and quality of care for New Mexicans across the state.

Lujan Grisham was born in Los Alamos and graduated from St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe before earning undergraduate and law degrees from the University of New Mexico. A 12th-generation New Mexican, she is the mother of two adult children and grandmother of three. She is the caretaker for her mother, Sonja.

She would be the first to be modest. Not about these achievements; but, concerning her own role. Often, when questions are asked about the latest projects benefitting our state, our citizens, she is the first to remind us of the many dedicated workers and (dare I say it) officials who are part of the process.

Most of us in New Mexico assumed the vaccine rollout – and more – would go well. And it did.