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RETROREPORT - The truth now about the big stories then

How often does a great story dominate the headlines, only to be dropped from the news cycle? How often do journalists tell us of a looming danger or important discovery – only to move quickly to the next new thing? What really happened? How did these events change us? And what are the lingering consequences that may affect our society to this day? These are the questions we are answering at Retro Report, an innovative documentary news organization launched in 2013 as a timely online counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle. Combining documentary techniques with shoe-leather reporting, we peel back the layers of some of the most perplexing news stories of our past with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events and the media in ~10 minute segments. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 10, 2013 - 15 comments

2011 on track to be the worst year for wildfires in Texas history

Texas is burning. Despite it being only April, due to severe drought conditions, over 1.8 million acres have already burned throughout the state, which could soon surpass the two million acre record set in 2006. Here are the 10 largest current wildfires as seen from orbit. [more inside]
posted by Unicorn on the cob on Apr 25, 2011 - 53 comments

A short drive through hell.

A short drive through hell. NSFW swearing (in Russian).
posted by seanmpuckett on Aug 2, 2010 - 69 comments

A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight

Time-lapse video of the Southern California wildfires. Another image of the fires, as seen from space. Google Map.
posted by mattdidthat on Sep 3, 2009 - 20 comments

Warming Climate Fuels Mega-Fires

Warming Climate Fuels Mega-Fires (11-minute video) 60-Minutes reports. "Recently there has been an enormous change in Western fires. In truth, we've never seen anything like them in recorded history. It appears we're living in a new age of mega-fires -- forest infernos ten times bigger than the fires we're used to seeing."
posted by stbalbach on Oct 23, 2007 - 51 comments

San Diego burns

The San Diego area is in grave danger right now from two major fires being fanned by Santa Ana winds. The SD Union Tribune is maintaining a special Google Map in real time showing what's burned, and what's in danger, who's supposed to evacuate, and where they're supposed to go.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste on Oct 22, 2007 - 204 comments

Wildfire on the Gunflint Trail

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is burning (again). Over the past few days, more than 22,000 acres have burned, and a mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the north end of the Gunflint Trail. Fire containment remains at only 5%, and the fire's growth potential remains high due to strong winds, lack of rainfall, and the dense concentration of blown-down trees caused by a major windstorm in 1999. Officials are now attempting to fight fire with fire. Fire danger is high to extreme across northern Minnesota and fire restrictions are in effect indefinitely. The BWCAW previously.
posted by mauglir on May 10, 2007 - 19 comments

BLM Pulls Funding After Controversial Results Emerge

First it was announced that an Oregon State University graduate student was publishing a story in the journal Science. titled, "Post-Wildfire Logging Hinders Regeneration and Increases Fire Risk," which undercut Bush administration-backed arguments for post-wildfire logging. A week later it was made public that nine professors in the College of Forestry (which gets 10% of its funding from a logging tax) lobbied the journal not to publish the article. Among them was John Sessions, lead author of a report that pressed the U.S. Forest Service to expand salvage logging. After attention was brought to the professors' attempts to keep the article from being published, many worried about the university's reputation regarding academic freedom, if not the state of academic freedom throughout the academic world. However if it wasn't difficult enough to just worry about your own professors standing in the way of getting your data published, you also have to worry about the government pulling your funding if your data doesn't match the data they want to see.

"The Bureau of Land Management acknowledged Monday that it asked OSU if the three-year study led by graduate student Daniel Donato and published last month in the journal Science violated provisions of a $300,000 federal fire research grant that prohibits using any of the funds to lobby Congress and requires that a BLM scientist be consulted before the research is published."

"It's totally without precedent as far as I can recollect," said Jerry Franklin, a professor at the University of Washington who has studied Northwest forests for decades. "It says, 'If we don't like what you're saying, we'll cut off your money.' "
posted by pwb503 on Feb 7, 2006 - 51 comments

Burning letter started Colorado fire.

Burning letter started Colorado fire. Isn't there a better way to destroy a letter from somebody you hate? Say, shredding? What would you recommend to such dummies, to prevent them from creating statewide destruction?
posted by meep on Jun 16, 2002 - 12 comments

Do you think there is a possible connection between the events (NYT headlines): Attack Possible in U.S. or Yemen, the F.B.I. Warns and Small Fire Becomes Inferno, Burning Homes in California ?
posted by semmi on Feb 12, 2002 - 28 comments

GeekPress

GeekPress (much recommended) is threatened by the fire. They posted a picture of what it looked like from their house.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Jan 3, 2001 - 1 comment

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