Wednesday, December 9, 2009

PLN 28

The article "Raiders of the Lost Lake" by Alan Bellows talks about a Russian drilling company in Antarctica that found, but did not disturb, an underwater lake the size of Lake Ontario in Michigan. The lake is underneath 2 miles of glaciers and hasn’t seen sunlight for about 500,000 years or more. If the drill were to breach the ice above the lake 60 gallons of kerosene would fall into the lake and contaminate it beyond repair. The kerosene was to keep the water from refreezing around the drill. The Russians were drilling there to take ice samples because they heard that Antarctica was once a very tropical are with palm trees and all that beachy stuff. Once Australia and South America moved away, they took the warm currents with them and deprived the beaches so that they eventually froze and formed the Antarctica that we know and love. When other scientist heard of the discovery of the underground lake they had a field day and made a pact with the Russians that no military force would be used to take control of Lake Vostok. Scientist had devised a plan to send a drill down that would make a whole that would refreeze after the drill was through. Once it reached the lake the drill would open and send out a camera that would take pictures of all of the creatures down there. Another reason that we don’t want the Russians to keep drilling is because once they reach the lake, all the pressure of the air and water will make an explosion that might send all the water from the lake and the kerosene out into the open air and expose all of the other lakes. This could be a massive learning experience for the science community but what they find may not be community appropriate, as in it might scare every one in the public. The things that could scare them would be the microorganisms in the water, though small could be dangerous or helpful to the community.

PLN 29

The article "A Large Hearted Gentlemen" by Jason Bellows talks about Jim Corbett and his uncanny knack to track large cats in the Indonesian jungle and not to kill them but to track and document them in their natural habitat. The only time Corbett would shoot an animal was when everyone was screaming about the man eating tigers and panthers. He would kill them and learn that they were hunting humans because they were either old or had injuries so they couldn’t hunt regular game. One of the man eaters that Corbett killed was a panther in the Indonesian jungle. He found one of the animals favorite trails and set a goat in the trail, hid in a mango tree and waited for the animal to come. On the 11th day that Corbett was in the tree the animal came, Corbett turned on his light and shot the animal. When he got out of the tree to examine the animal he saw that it had porcupine wounds in its leg that had been there for many years. As most little spikes like that dissolve, porcupine needles don’t, so when the needles go in they don’t come out without some one doing something about it. With the porcupine needles in the cat’s leg, the muscles started to rot and the bone was wearing thin, that’s why the cat hunted humans instead of regular game. I think the lesson from this story is that you shouldn’t make false presumptions when you don’t know the real answer or don’t judge a book by it’s cover.