Friday, July 25, 2014

What We Learned This Week - "Are You a Good Fish or a Bad Fish?"

As predicted, the 2014 Gulf of Mexico dead zone is smaller than usual, measuring about 2,600 square miles, roughly the size of Delaware.  If you're from Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana or Oklahoma, take more than your driver's license to gain entry into the halls of Congress and other federal facilities under new screening requirements. Most small business owners say they would support the provisions of the Obama Administration's proposed Waters of the U.S. rule.  A new study shows once more that climate models are indeed reliable.  As if to affirm that confirmation, we've broken the world temperature record in June after posting a hottest-ever May. On a related note, the Gulf of Mexico coast is ill-prepared for the inevitable sea-level rise. There is good news and bad news of the "Finding Nemo" variety: The good news - a sunfish found recently in Iowa's Mississippi River waters is likely a rare longear sunfish.  The bad news - two Asian carp species were found by a Minnesota DNR contractor well upriver from where they were previously observed.  The La Crosse, Wisconsin area has experienced millions of mayflies emerging from a Mississippi River hatch, which may have contributed to a car crash.  The happiest city in the US according to a new study is Lafayette, Louisiana.  Oh, "Minneapolis-golden-age-of-river-traffic," we hardly knew ye!  Insurers are reaping the benefits of a significant uptick in the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma (2,300 so far in 2014), but the causes of the increase there and elsewhere in the region are unclear. American voters say they really, really hate Congress, excluding their own representative, that is. This year's Kentucky Senate race is on track to be the most expensive U.S. Senate contest ever, and it has a new candidate: a "terribly frank" Gil Fulbright has entered the race, although he won't be appearing anywhere on the November ballot.  And last, but not least, the theme for this year's Annual Blessing of the Fleet and Parade of Boats in Portage des Sioux, Missouri is "Noah's Ark."  In keeping with that theme, the event had to be rescheduled from July 19 to August 9 because of Mississippi River flooding.

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