Nearly all records created by state and local government officials, including bill drafts and communications with staff, would not be subject to the Wisconsin open records law under a sweeping surprise change Republicans introduced in committee Thursday as an amendment to the state budget. [more inside]
Starships were meant to fly.
More than half the population of small, rural Madras, Oregon (population: ~6059) and its surrounding community is served by one clinic: Madras Medical. At the beginning of 2006, the clinic's doctors and nurses decided to ban pharmaceutical reps from visiting their practice. No more free lunches. No more free drug samples. No more gifts. And yet.... "It's made us better doctors." (Via) [more inside]
Did you know that this is the last day of Sunshine Week? What is Sunshine Week? An attempt to get a nationwide discussion going about the importance of access to public information and what it means for you and your community. (from 2005 a Blue note was sung with This little light of mine here on the Blue) [more inside]
Fantasy writer Robin McKinley has a bat colony in her attic! (If you don't already love her try Sunshine or The Blue Sword.) It's the largest Pipistrelle nursery in Hampshire, and it's illegal to disturb them. Here's one on her chandelier! (Despite her claims to the contrary, the bats are not actually in her belfry: McKinley is, in fact, a bellringer, but pursues this activity offsite.) McKinley's bat-ventures have an antipodean analogue: the Botanic Garden in Sydney is still agonizing over what to do with its own adorable hell-fiend horde. (Previously on the blue.) Bats!
Global Dimming?!? In the second half of the 20th century, the world became, quite literally, a darker place. Defying expectation and easy explanation, hundreds of instruments around the world recorded a drop in sunshine reaching the surface of Earth, as much as 10 percent from the late 1950's to the early 90's, or 2 percent to 3 percent a decade. Has anyone been following this? Heat I might do without for a while, but I've grown very fond of light.