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News Round Up [June 27, 2017]

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1st Ever Photo Take of a Surger (1890)

For cool context here is the same place he is standing but today:


Shareholders re-elect Sealaska board incumbents

KCAW by Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News
The management slate won this year’s Sealaska board election.

Three incumbents and a newcomer who ran with them beat out eight independent candidates.

Results were released Saturday via Sealaska’s Facebook page during the Southeast regional Native corporation’s annual meeting, held in Hydaburg, on Prince of Wales Island.

Another result: A measure to reduce the board’s size failed to attract enough votes to pass.

Juneau-based Sealaska has about 22,000 shareholders, which gives it the largest base of Alaska’s dozen regional Native corporations.

Sidney Edenshaw of Hydaburg is one of the three winning incumbents. He’s president of his community’s tribal association and has been on Sealaska’s board for 12 years.

Another is Ed Thomas of Kingston, Washington. The former Juneau resident spent 27 years as president of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. He’s been on Sealaska’s board for 27 years. [Read the rest

Alaska to receive almost $30 million from feds in PILT funding


The Department of the Interior announced today that 29 local Alaska governments would receive $29.7 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds, or PILT. PILT funding provides local governments with funding they can’t get from tax-exempt federal lands within their boundaries. It pays for services such as public safety, schools and roads in communities containing national parks, national forests and other public lands.

The Mat-Su Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough will receive the largest funding amounts with both getting more than $3 million each from the federal government.

The almost $30 million Alaska will receive is part of a record $464.6 million that will be distributed to 1,900 local governments in the country this year. [Source]

Southeast Alaska’s rainy, cool summer may continue

KFSK by Joe Viechnicki

Salmon berries are a little late to ripen this year with cool temperatures and rainy weather likely to continue into July.

The rainy, cool weather in Southeast Alaska this month is likely to continue in the near future, despite a short break in the showers expected this week. That might mean a little later and less sweet year for wild berries.

“The plants here in Southeast Alaska are used to having a good amount of cloud cover,” he said. “They’ve all adapted to that but the more sun, the quicker they’ll ripen and also the more sweet they’ll be. They can even ripen and look really nice and lovely and bright but just not be quite as sweet because there hasn’t been as much photosynthesis going on. And that’s a function of the light but also the temperature and how much actual sugar production is going on in the plant.”

While it’s probably not setting records, Petersburg is experiencing a wetter and cooler month than usual. The normal monthly rainfall total for June is just under five inches. The town has already surpassed that with over a week left in the month.

National Weather Service forecaster Rick Fritsch specializes in the climate of Southeast Alaska and doesn’t see big changes on the horizon. “The current pattern that we’re in and have been in for all of June so far, I cannot see that it’s gonna change anytime soon,” Fritsch said. “And so I would say there is a fairly good chance that we are gonna see above normal precipitation going into July. Climatologically this is supposed to be the driest part of the year.” [Source]

London School Asks Pupils to Write Their Own Suicide Notes

A school in London has come under fire after telling 60 teenage pupils to write their own suicide notes during an English class assignment.

The task was given as part of the year group’s studies on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, in which Lady Macbeth dies “by self and violent hands”.

Senior staff at Thomas Tallis School in Kidbrooke apologised for upsetting students, some of whom are said to have friends who have taken their own lives.

One mother said three of her daughter’s friends had killed themselves, and that her daughter was “very distressed” after being asked to write the note.

She said she complained to the school as soon as her daughter told her about the task.

“On what universe was it ever a good idea to ask a group of teenagers to write suicide notes?” she said to local newspaper News Shopper.

Tallis School headteacher, Carolyn Roberts, said “action had been taken” and that similar projects would not happen again. [Source]

What a strange story! All of a sudden these parents who want to home school their kids are looking like geniuses....

Without Immigration, Tokyo More Than Doubles Housing Space Per Person


Clearly, the Japanese should instead have chosen mass immigration so that they could continue to live in 640 sq. ft. per family of four instead of 1400 sq. ft. per family of four.


Here in America, we constantly hear about how awful the Japanese economy is, but that’s largely because it hasn’t done much of anything for Wall Street since the giant Bubble popped around 1990. But, the Japanese economy has been fairly successful for the Japanese. [Source]

Your Dog Can Tell From Your Voice If You’re Happy or Sad


Over the past few years at E​ötvös Loránd University, in Hungary, a team of researchers has been using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) technology—which tracks blood flow to various areas of the brain, a sign of increased activity—to peer inside the minds of dogs. One of a handful of labs groups worldwide that's using the technology in this way, they've used positive reinforcement training to get a study group of 11 dogs to voluntarily enter the fMRI scanner and stay perfectly still for minutes at a time, which is necessary to get accurate readings.

Their main discovery is that certain areas of the dogs' brains consistently responded more when they heard vocalizations (whether other dogs' or humans), as compared to non-vocal noises. "The very exciting finding is that in both the human brain and the dog brain, these 'voice areas' are located in very similar places," Andics says.

This, he explains, suggests that the underlying vocal recognition area originally evolved in a last common ancestor of humans and dogs (and by default all other existing placental mammals) which lived around 100 million years ago. In enabling a few key mammal characteristics—a high degree of communication and social structure—the development of this brain area may even go a long way towards explaining why mammals been so evolutionarily successful as a whole.

The researchers also found that different areas of the dogs' brains showed activity in response to hearing each category of sound. Out of the total brain area that was involved in auditory response, 39 percent showed activity after they heard recordings of dog vocalizations (barking, whining or other dog noises), 48 percent showed activity after hearing the non-vocal noises and 13 percent specifically showed activity after they listened to human speech. [Read the rest]

[Mystery News Link

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