A couple of months ago, we visited a forest reserve in Brazil where several endagered Muriqui (Brachyteles arachnoides) monkeys live. These are the largest primates in the American continent. Since the location is a bit far from the usual turist centers, it is unlikey that many of you will be able to visit, so here is a description of the place and some photos of the monkeys.
I am not sure what the benefit to the overall economy from this is, or how many Yes votes in the Senate or House this won over, but here it is, from page 300 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization "bailout" bill passed by the Senate yesterday (451 pages long).
SEC. 503. EXEMPTION FROM EXCISE TAX FOR CERTAIN WOODEN ARROWS DESIGNED FOR USE BY CHILDREN.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Paragraph (2) of section 4161(b) is amended by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (C) and by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraph: ‘‘(B) EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN WOODEN ARROW SHAFTS.—Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to any shaft consisting of all natural wood with no laminations or artificial means of enhancing the spine of such shaft (whether sold separately or incorporated as part of a finished or unfinished product) of a type used in the manufacture of any arrow which after its assembly— ‘‘(i) measures 5⁄16 of an inch or less in diameter, and‘‘(ii) is not suitable for use with a bow described in paragraph (1)(A).’’.
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by this section shall apply to shafts first sold after the date of enactment of this Act.
I haven't finished reading the whole thing, maybe there are other important provisions in there which improved the original 3 page proposal and the earlier version rejected by the House - full text of the bill.
And I thought folks the other day in the debate were all for cutting earmarks and special interests's influence. I guess something went wrong along the way.
As Spring continues to take over the Pacific Northwest, the deer are making their usual appearance. It is fairly common to see them around our house, but a few weekends ago we spotted a couple close to downtown Redmond (half way between home and work).
Deer in Redmond
This is close to Marymoor park, a nice place for them, but fairly dangerous because there is a lot of traffic in the area. Every year, we usually come across a couple of dead deers on highway 520, next to the park.
Don't know how this happened. Probably it was because we don't channel surf by the SciFi channel that much (we tend to use only the Favorites button on the Comcast remote), but the bottom line is that we managed to miss the existence of Battlestar Galactica for the past three years!
We finally got into the series this weekend. We got the DVD of the mini series, and watched it Saturday. We also got season three from Costco and ordered Razor, and we will go through those on a future weekend. I am still debating whether to get season 1 on HD DVD, although the price is a bit too high right now.
We already got a couple of the new episodes recorded on the Media Center, and have the series programmed in it. I got the free downloads on X Box Live as well, and downloaded the podcasts to listen to while running.
If you have any suggestions as to how best to approach the series, please leave comments.
The series has many layers to it, and touches on interesting and complex plot themes. Not as brainy as Twin Peaks, but with a certain darkness reminiscent of Blade Runner.
If you also managed to miss Battlestar Galactica, get going fast, as the final season is underway.
Recently I visited Washington DC, to attend the National Academy of Science's e-Journal meeting. A side meeting took me to Dupont Circle, and that gave me some time to drop by the Starbucks facing the square, which has the distinction of being the first Starbucks store I ever visited.