LONDON (Reuters) - Princess Diana is buried on land used for years as a pet cemetery and known to the staff at her childhood home as "Dog Island," a former housekeeper for her family said. The leafy Oval Island at Althorp, the Spencer family's rural estate, was used as a place to bury hunting dogs that belonged to Diana's grandfather Jack, Maudie Pendrey told The Daily Mirror.
"I cannot believe Earl Spencer could be so heartless as to bury his sister in a dog burial ground," she told The Mirror. "It is a desecration." Pendrey worked for the Spencer family into which Diana was born for more than 22 years, the newspaper said. She told the paper she had seen some of the dogs' gravestones on the island, but that the stones were removed to make room for Dianaís memorial. "I saw them. There were five dogs' gravestones with their names on them. They were about 2.5 feet high ... I understood there were other dogs buried there as well but without headstones."
HOPE THEY HAD A NICE TIME
Washington Friday Harbour The killer whale pod that took up residence in Bremertonís Dyes Inlet last year appears headed back to the state, Marine biologists said. Two males that died over the winter have been replaced by two calves. TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 1998 - USA TODAY
MIDGET SUBMARINE HITS DEAD WHALE
The tiny submarine was 500 feet below the surface of Tenakee Inlet when it hit the big whale, lying dead on the ocean floor. Juneau marine ecologist Jim Taggart was peering out the porthole at the discovery, known as a whalefall. One of only 12 found by scientists in recent memory, the find last month 50 miles southwest of Juneau offered a wealth of information with some surprising implications. "We literally bumped right into the whale," said Taggart.
The collision raised a huge cloud of undersea organisms in the dark, near-freezing waters at the bottom of the inlet. The lights of the 16-foot sub revealed a swarm of walleyed pollock drawn to the excitement. As the sub circled the carcass, Taggart was able to piece together a picture of the sunken whale.
Taggart was part of a team of scientists studying the impact that sea otters are having on Dungeness crabs in Southeast waters. Lead by Tom Shirley, fisheries professor at the University of Alaska, the team used the two-person Delta submarine as part of the ongoing research project. The discovery of the whalefall proved to be a bonus. "I talked to the world's leading authority in Hawaii on this," said Shirley. "He's been sinking dead whales in order to study them, and he's real excited about this find." The authority is oceanographer Craig Smith at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. He said the Alaska find is an exciting opportunity to study a whale found in relatively shallow water, and compare it to those he's studied elsewhere at depths between 3,000 and 12,000 feet. "Another angle I found exciting is a biotechnology spin-off," Smith said. "We've been collaborating with a biotechnology firm in San Diego, studying enzymes that are made by the bacteria living on the skeleton and blubber, that they use to break down the proteins and oils."
Smith said these enzymes function in cold water at temperatures just above freezing. "They're looking at marketing these as detergent additives, so that detergents can be more efficient in cold water," said Smith, adding that it's a good reminder that the applied benefits of basic research aren't always apparent at first. Shirley said Smith's technology may have applications for oil spill cleanup work as well. Smith said whale skeletons support an incredibly diverse assemblage of species. One whale supports 178 species in an area less than a square meter, which rivals coral reefs or rain forests for biodiversity. "That's not what we expected to find at all," Smith said. "We've also found quite a few species that are new to science, including some that don't seem to live anywhere else." Scientists have found that scavengers are able to strip the soft tissue off sunken whales in deep waters much faster than ever thought. When the soft tissue is gone, other types of organisms move in with other types of metabolisms, sulphide-loving creatures like those that live near deep-sea hydrothermal vents. "The bones are as much as 60 percent oil by weight, and they continue to support these specialised communities for years," said Smith. "The vent systems are separated by thousands of kilometres, and whalefalls may serve as dispersal stepping stones, and may also be stepping stones in an evolutionary sense."Smith hopes to come to Alaska next year and visit the sunken carcass, which Shirley guesses is a humpback whale. Graduate students are already e-mailing Shirley, asking to participate in the research. This was the fifth time Shirley and his associates have worked with the Delta submarine. Shirley was on the bottom of Taku Inlet south of Juneau when the area was being considered as a tailings disposal site for the Alaska Juneau gold mine several years ago. He also studied the impact of tons of sunken bark and wood waste at log transfer sites in Southeast. Taggart, who serves as the Glacier Bay Field Station leader for the Alaska Biological Science Center for the U. S. Geological Survey, has participated on several projects, along with a host of fisheries graduate students. Taggart said he's seen some amazing sights under the surface of Southeast Alaska waters. Taggart has found himself surrounded by thousands of pollock, drawn to the sub by the lights like moths to a flame, repeatedly bumping the sides of the craft. He's seen bioluminescent creatures, huge halibut, forests of sea whips and sea pens, and fields of basket sea stars. He described large areas of the sea floor buried by a thick, living layer of thousands of egg-bearing female crabs. "We've seen all kinds of strange critters, sponges and snails you can't find in any of the books," he said. "It's a different world down there, there's no question about it."
THE MAN-MOTH PROPHECIES
It could be a passage from the Colombian Nobel literaturel aureate and grandfather of magic realism Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The sugar-growing town of San Antonio de los Caballeros been has been taken over by swarms of giant shimmering blue and brown butterflies. "You can't open your mouth for fear they'll fly right in, " said Marina Llano, who keeps a shop. Driving has become almost impossible - there are so many butterflies in the air that they smother windscreens and block radiator grilles - and few venture out on foot without a large umbrella. The village school has had to close temporarily for lack of students, and children have been making a few extra pesos by running errands and sweeping up the dead from under street lights. Dogs normally content to laze in the tropical heat snap their jaws on thin air. Butterflies have settled in irreverently large numbers on the statues of the Virgin and Christon the cross in the church. The town's patron, Saint Antony, is all but obscured.
Father Villegas does not exactly approve, but he feels there is little he can do. "They can stay as long as they don't start flying during mass, " he conceded. Caligo ilioneus has an 4in wingspan and is not an unusual sight around San Antonio at this time of year, when it breeds on the sugar cane. But the Sugar Investigation Centre said it had seen nothing like this year's population in its 30 year history. "They seem to have thrived in the unusual weather conditions brought on by El Nino, " said Luis Gomez, an entomologist. "They have done considerable damage to the local sugar crop, and we are run off our feet trying to ensure that they do not migrate further afield. " Although the butterflies are a headache for sugar growers, there is a local superstition that they have winning lottery numbers hidden in the patterns on the back of their wings. The first hint of this yearís plague came nearly three weeks ago when Horacio Loaiza was engulfed by a cloud of pulsating blue as he cycled home from a day's cane cutting. "I was overwhelmed. I had never seen so many potential lottery winners, " he said. When he got home, coated in blue dust and broken wings, he found his windows covered in butterflies and his wife grumbling and picking them out of the soup.
"The town has had to resort to voluntary electricity rationing. We now leave lights off until late at night so as not to attract more, " Mrs Loaiza said. "But the butterflies are also fond of coming to rest on television screens, which is causing much consternation now the World Cup is under way. " Experts expect they will have gone before the final, which will please Alberto Portilla. "My 10-year-old son persists in letting carrier bags full of live butterflies loose inside the house. I haven't been able to watch television for weeks. As far as I am concerned, the only ones who have enjoyed the butterflies are children and the lottery girls. " Ana Beltran, who works in the local lottery office, confirms that she has had a bumper month. The black and yellow" eyes" visible when the wings are folded have prompted a rush of bets on the numbers 010, 040 and 080. "Nobody has ever won the jackpot on a butterfly before, "she whispered. "But please donít tell the public that. " Saturday June 13, 1998
WILD HORSES WOULDN`T DRAG ME AWAY
Utah Salt Lake City - Six wild foals and their mares that were condemned to die after testing positive for a deadly equine virus were given a temporary reprieve. Bureau of Land Management officials agreed to wait until a federal judge can rule on a request for a temporary restraining order filed by the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros. Utah Journal Sentinel June 26, 1998
HYMENOPTERID HIGH JINKS
An attempt by members of an Eau Claire church to rid a building addition of bees ended in a spectacular fire that caused more than $1 million in damage No one was injured in the blaze that began about 9 p.m. during services at the Pentecostal Assembly, on 9th Ave., said Eau Claire Fire Battalion Chief David Gee. Church members were building a large addition to the church and were attempting to drive off bees that had nested in the open soffits of the roof's overhangs, said Ed Kassing, deputy chief of operations for the Eau Claire Fire Department. Parishioners sprayed a flammable chemical at the bees and ignited it, Kassing said. However, the fumes travelled along the ceiling joists and the flames soon spread through the entire pitched roof, Kassing said. Workers used fire extinguishers on the flames and thought they had put them out but about a half-hour later saw smoke in the roof's peak, Kassing said. Between 20 and 30 members of the church fled the building as flames spread through a 4-inch space between the ceiling and the roof, Kassing said.
Tuesday, June 30, 1998. "Nine bean rows will I have there, and a hive for the honey bee", was William Butler Yeats's declared ambition for the Lake Isle of Innisfree in Eire.." And live alone in the bee-loud glade". But the bee-loud glades will be silent in the poet's native county following a decision by the Department of Agriculture to embark on the most ambitious slaughter policy since the foundation of the State, the destruction of six million bees in south Co. Sligo.
The Department decided on this drastic plan of action last night following a meeting with the Federation of Irish Beekeepers to discuss the control of the disease, varroasis, which has been found in Sligo for the first time in Irish bee hives. The disease, caused by a parasitic mite, Varroa jacobsoni, poses no risk to human health but destroys honey bees by feeding on their blood. The Department has a traditional policy of slaughter to control diseases in animals and birds and it has slaughtered millions of cattle to eradicate bovine TB and thousands to control BSE. A Department spokesman said yesterday that, following a meeting with the federation, a decision had been taken to destroy the infected bees. He said he understood nearly a dozen beekeepers were involved, and an estimated 100 hives would be wiped out in the operation. The spokesman could not specify how south Sligo would be turned into a bee-silent glade, but a prominent beekeeper said it was likely the hives would be treated with chemicals or burned." It is not an easy job to do," said Mr John Donoghue, the incoming president of the federation. "You have to wait at this time of year until around 11 p.m. when all the bees come home and then block the exit to the hive and either kill them with chemicals or burn the hives. He said the news would "send shivers up the spine of every beekeeper in Ireland", but he accepted that this might have to happen because of the destruction caused by the disease. "The killing of the bees may not prevent the spread of the disease because wild bees carry the mite as well, and there is no way of getting rid of every wild bee in Sligo. The fact that the Department has decided to destroy the hives may mean that the problem is localised, and that is good news."
STRANGE BEE-HAVIOUR (2)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Already decimated by an invasion of mites, America's honeybees are now faced with a new threat: a South African beetle with a taste for honey that can drive bees out of their hives. Far from a humble insect known mainly for its sharp sting, the honeybee is a critical pollinator of 90 crops and numerous flowers and is responsible in one way or another for an estimated one-third of the food Americans eat. Bees are only now recovering from the attack of mites, which experts say killed more than 95 percent of the wild colonies in America and put commercial operations at risk, requiring expensive chemical treatments as prevention. Now officials in Florida have discovered hives infested with the South African small hive beetle, the first time the pest has ever appeared in this country. The initial report came June 5 from St. Lucie County, Fla. , and has since spread to nearby Indian River, Brevard, Polk and Lake counties.
State and federal agriculture officials were meeting Tuesday in Florida to figure out whether to attempt to eradicate the beetles or begin a quarantine to prevent them from spreading elsewhere. "If you have a strong bee colony, and they're healthy, they would probably keep these critters under control," said Anita Collins, a research geneticist at the Agriculture Department's Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. "If youíve got a weaker colony, then these beetles can sort of get out of hand." The beetles, which may have come to America in soil from South Africa, like to eat honey and pollen and lay eggs in the honeycomb cells. They defecate in the honey, making it unpalatable to bee and human alike and making the hive untenable; their hard, shiny black shells guard against the bees' stingers. "Honeybees will abscond if the colony is wet, if they suffer too much heat, if odour is a problem. This is just another reason," said Roger A. Morse, a retired Cornell University professor of apiculture and bee researcher. "If the colony is too weak to abscond, it would just die out." Florida is a winter home to millions of commercial bees, which are shipped to 25 states during growing season to pollinate crops such as apples, blueberries, zucchini, alfalfa, cantaloupes and cucumbers. If the beetles have been getting into hives in Florida for any length of time, Morse said, they "could be in many, many states." The beetles can be controlled by pesticides, because they leave their host bee colony and burrow into the ground to pupate. In addition, beekeepers can guard against infestation by fumigating extra honeycombs before placing them into the hives. "This beetle should be more of a nuisance than a serious pest," Morse said. "Beekeepers are going to have to be vigilant."
GOT MY MOTOR RUNNING GET OUT ON THE HIGHWAY.......
WASHINGTON (AP). Climbing off his Harley Davidson Road King Classic, Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson grabbed a toothbrush and some paper towels and prepared to wage war on the feathered foes of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: pigeons. Joined by about 250 fellow hog riders, Thompson rode from Madison, Wis. , to Washington to celebrate his state's 150 anniversary. They came armed with supplies to clean pigeon droppings off the austere black walls and four granite stones to lay at the base of the monument. "This is a very moving experience because so many of the riders are Vietnam vets and for some of them this is the first time back at the wall," said Thompson, a four-year Harley rider. Many of the delegates broke into tears as they sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" and read the inscriptions on the stones. "Great many of us quit partying, don't drink or smoke. Haunting memories of the sights, sounds, stench of war tears at our frail spirit plus ravages our soul," Minneapolis resident Gerald "Mack" McDonel read from a plaque that he brought to Washington on the back of his motorcycle. Not everyone was pleased with the ceremony, however. Gentry Davis, deputy regional director of the National Park Service, said he was concerned about how the group was cleaning the wall. "If we allow people to just come in and just clean the wall it could damage the names," Davis said. He said he wasn't offended at the implication that the park service doesn't keep the memorial clean, but did add that "if we see any major pigeon drops or bird drops, we try to clean it up."
A shop worker who is convinced he is a werewolf is suing his bosses in Romania because they will not give him time off when there is a full moon. The man says he feels restless and irritable even during daylight hours when the moon is at its peak. Source Unknown - June 1, 1998
A LEGAL MATTER
The current bill being hustled through in California will allow the CA Fish and Game jurisdiction over domestic and captive bred animals and will allow police officers to act for the Dept of Fish and Game as well...It will also outlaw hybrids, such as wolf hybrids and bengal cats and make it impossible to legalize ferrets, which is one of its major aims. See the bill for yourself.. http./www.sen.ca.gov/archives/bill/current/AB/FROM0400/AB0409/CURRVE
THEY CALL HIM FLIPPER........
HAINES (AP) - In scenes reminiscent of the old TV show "Flipper," Haines teenagers and some adults are swimming and frolicking with a friendly Pacific white-sided dolphin. It showed up in a local cove a month ago. Crowds line up daily along a dock to pet the animal, and local tour companies are bringing visitors for a look. "It was really cool," said local businesswoman Michelle Ward, who jumped in last week. "It kind of went around us for a little while, then it would dart in and out. It was coming over and rolling up on its stomach, like it wanted us to pet it, so we rubbed its belly. "After a couple minutes it would let us grab its top fin and back fin and pull us around," Ward said. Pacific white-sided dolphins migrate north only during summer months and typically don't stray from the open ocean of the Gulf of Alaska. In captivity, they are often used in performances at aquariums and oceanariums. The dolphin in Letnikof Cove responds to onlookers who splash the surface or snap their fingers underwater. When it tires of towing humans around the harbour, it just shakes them off. Zipping among a group of swimmers a few days ago, the dolphin jumped over 15-year-old Chari Combs. "It jumped clean out," said Barb Stigen, whose son, 13-year-old Chris, latched on to a fin for a short ride. "It arched way big. It just kind of came up by you and let you play with him and pet him," Chris Stigen said. "It makes cool little squeaky sounds underwater."
But the fun may be coming to an end. National Marine Fisheries Service patrol officer Steve Zukowski arrived in Haines to keep crowds from making contact with the dolphin, an action that's considered a violation of the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Regional enforcement chief Steve Meyer said petting a dolphin could lead the animal to an unnatural and perilous dependence on humans. "It's neat that it's there and we all get to see it, but we shouldn't try to entice it or keep it there, because that could be detrimental," he said. If the dolphin gets too comfortable here, it may not migrate south in the fall, Meyer said. "Some marine mammals have been known to bite people or butt or hit them. There is a risk of that, although it may be small." High school students Chari and Rikki Combs have been swimming with the dolphin regularly. Chari says it likes being around her and at times won't leave her side. "I think it's fine," she said. The dolphin "has no one to play with and they need to play. It's better than him being out there all lonely." Combs said the new lawman in town won't come between her and her new friend. "They can try to get me out of the water," she said. "What are they going to do, put me in dolphin jail?"ANOTHER OBLIGATORY DIANA STORY
DIANA the homing pigeon has done it again. Only months after escaping and setting a record for travelling nearly 1,500 miles from Spain back to its old loft, it has twice got free and returned home again. This time it did not have to travel so far to reach its former home in Skipton, North Yorkshire. The first occasion was from Filey, 75 miles away; the second just across town. Now the bird's former owner, Dino Reardon, a champion breeder, has accepted defeat, renamed it "Boomerang", and allowed the pigeon to stay home. Mr Reardon, 66, who parted with his birds last autumn after retiring from the pigeon-fancying business, said: "She keeps coming home because she loves me and she loves her loft. But I don't have the loft any more, so she's living in a cardboard box." Boomerang's father, Bluey, was a world champion that three years ago was stolen for breeding. Its kidnappers clipped its wings, but Bluey escaped and walked 60 miles home.
Mr Reardon said: "Boomerang has turned out like her father. I originally gave her to this Spanish pigeon breeder who came to collect her after hearing about Bluey. But she escaped and flew all the way back. Then I gave her to a man in Filey. She wouldn't settle so I visited every day and she perked up." But Mr Reardon stopped visiting after five months and she came looking for him. In desperation he gave the bird to another pigeon fancier in Skipton but after just two nights, she was back again. "It was unbelievable. She'd smashed her way out of her roost and flown home," Mr Reardon said. The Times May 21 1998, UK