Santa Cruz Water Director Rosemary Menard urges residents to use low-flow shower heads and other implements to save water during the drought. Photo: J.D. Hillard / KUSP
By J.D. Hillard | KUSP News
You probably knew it was coming: Since it became clear we haven’t been having a normal winter, water managers around he Monterey Bay have been considering how to reduce demand. Santa Cruz was the first to announce penalties for using more than a certain amount. The measure takes effect in May. The newly appointed water director said that timeline allows the agency to adjust the restrictions if conditions change.
The fines take effect when a household uses more than 10 ccf in a month – that works out to about 60 gallons per person per day for a four person household. Menard says this shouldn’t be too disruptive indoors.
Note as cute as Yogi’s pic-a-nic thievery: Food left out at a campsite in Yosemite National Park is likely to attract bears like this one, seen scavenging at Tuolumne Meadows Campground in 2008. Photo: Courtesy of Erica Crawford
One of the great joys of camping out in a national park is chowing down by the fire. But campers aren’t the only ones drawn to burgers and s’mores roasting over an open flame, beneath a mass of twinkling stars.
Those rich aromas can also prove irresistible to the local critters. From bears to foxes to coyotes, biologists have documented wildlife getting irrevocably hooked on our food and food waste. And for good reason: Our food is way more calorie-rich — and thus, better for making babies — than the standard black bear fare of insects and leaves.
Dallas native Annie Clark is better known as the singer St. Vincent. Last year she took a naked stroll out in the back 40 on a friend’s ranch. Alone and miles away from help, she was supremely startled by a rattlesnake and took off running, frightened as hell, sure that the snake was right behind her. That experience kicks off her delightfully quirky, self titled new album, “St Vincent”. And of course the song is called “Rattlesnake” and before long you almost feel like you’re running alongside her and “sweating, sweating” to the chorus. For some reason the song’s style and adrenaline rhythm track remind me of the “Run, Lola Run” soundtrack.
After a five-decade career in broadcasting, Carl Kasell announced his retirement on Tuesday.
Carl will record his final broadcast for Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! this spring. He will, however, remain “scorekeeper emeritus” for the show. Before becoming the official scorekeeper for the NPR news quiz show in 1998, Carl anchored the newscast for Morning Edition.
By: Doby Photography /NPR
His voice was the first thing many of us woke up to and became synonymous with NPR. As Mark noted when he stepped down from NPR’s Newscast unit in 2009, Carl brought “listeners the news of joyous events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and tragedies such as the 9/11 attacks in 2001.”
Noah Webster, channeling the prejudices of his time, defined “fun” in his 1828 dictionary as “sport; vulgar merriment; a low word.” But John Beckman says vulgar (of the common people) and low are exactly the point. Home-grown, salt-of-the-earth American fun, John contends, is democracy at its best, a way the plebes and proles throw off their bonds, declare their humanity and épater the overseers, elites and killjoys (like Noah Webster).
John traces the history of rebellious fun in America from the Massachusetts colony of Merry Mount in the 1620s to the Merry Pranksters of the 1960s, and from the Sons of Liberty to flappers and jazzmen, b-boys and punks in his new book American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt.
The other morning, I found myself staring at something strange and unfamiliar: empty grocery shelves with the word “eggs” above them. The store, a Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C., blamed, in another sign, the dearth on “increased demand for organic eggs.”
This scene is unfolding in grocery stores across the country. But Whole Foods’ sign wasn’t telling the whole truth. Demand for organic eggs is indeed increasing, but production is also down.
Allen’s Hummingbird – UCSC Arboretum, Santa Cruz, CA. Credit: Nsikan Akpan
By Nsikan Akpan | KUSP News
They dip. They swoop. They spin through the air with grace. Hummingbirds are vibrant aerial acrobats, and the UCSC Arboretum will showcase their majesty this weekend at this year’s edition of the Hummingbird Days.
Each spring, Allen’s hummingbirds return to the central coast after spending the chilly winter roosting in the warmer climates of Southern California and Mexico. Once they arrive, the plucky, red-breasted travelers compete for territory occupied by the green and magenta Anna’s hummingbirds, which live in Santa Cruz year round.
An artist’s rendering released by NASA Wednesday shows multiple-transiting planet systems, which are stars with more than one planet. The agency unveiled the discovery of 715 verified exoplanets today. Image: NASA
The job of NASA’s Kepler mission is to peek at the far reaches of space in the hopes of finding potentially habitable planets. The space agency announced a stunning success, saying that Kepler had identified 715 new planets that orbit 305 stars. The discovery boosts the number of verified planets by around 70 percent.
KUSP Film Reviewers David Anthony and Dennis Morton
The short films up for Oscars show all the artistry and craft of the feature films and you can view them in 30 minutes or less usually. KUSP’s film reviewers gave a couple looks at the animated and live action short film categories. Above, hear David Anthony’s review of Oscar nominated short animation films. And here is Dennis Morton’s review of the live action shorts.
Or read on:
Oscar Nominated Short Animation – Review by David Anthony
In the run-up to the 86th 2014 Academy Awards, the category of short film subjects includes two subdivisions, live action and animation. Last week my colleague Dennis Morton discussed the live action nominees. Today I will focus on animated offerings.