New Wildlife Refuge Proposed In The Northeast

Interesting, and awesome. Nothing is uglier than a new subdivision.

From Rhode Island Public Radio:

“We’re proposing to establish a new national wildlife refuge – called the Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge,” said Charlie Vandemoer, who manages the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Vandemoer said the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has identified specific locations throughout New York and New England that are important for shrubs and small trees.

“Within the large area that we’ve identified, in southern Rhode Island we would be allowed to acquire 3,200 acres based on willing sellers, of course, and if we have funding available to do that,” said Vandemoer, adding that the areas would be located in Washington County, from North Kingstown down to portions of Westerly and Richmond.

Federal Workplace Law Fails To Protect Employees Left Out Of Workers’ Comp

I am appalled (but honestly not surprised) to see that companies are allowed to bypass states’ workers’ comp laws and then so terribly fail and abuse their employees.

Via NPR:

Schiller, 54, is among 1.5 million workers in Texas and Oklahoma who don’t have state-regulated workers’ compensation to turn to when they’re injured on the job. Millions more may join them as more states consider giving employers the right to opt out of state workers’ comp systems.

As NPR and ProPublica have reported, many employers prefer this opt-out alternative to workers’ comp, because the state systems, employers claim, result in expensive and long-lasting benefits, costly litigation, and delays in treatment of injured workers.

When employers opt out, they avoid state regulation and write their own workplace injury plans, which make it easier to deny and cut benefits, control medical care and limit appeals of their decisions.


Watch Tor traffic flow around the world

Saw this over on Tumbler, it is pretty cool:

Tor, the internet anonymity network you can use to hide your activity from prying eyes, is beautiful in blue. Torflow is a visualization of the vast amounts of traffic streaming between its many nodes, delineating a map of the internet as it can’t otherwise be seen.

You can add and remove activity associated with different components of the Tor network, and then watch as thousands of on-screen particles rapidly drain your mobile device’s batteries.

Juniper drops NSA-developed code following new backdoor revelations

Ars Technica reports on the latest development in the on-going NSA/Juniper scandal:


Juniper Networks, which last month made the startling announcement its NetScreen line of firewalls contained unauthorized code that can surreptitiously decrypt traffic sent through virtual private networks, said it will remove a National Security Agency-developed function widely suspected of also containing a backdoor for eavesdropping.

The networking company said in a blog post published Friday that it will ship product releases in the next six months that remove the Dual_EC_DRBG random number generator from NetScreen firewalls. Security researchers have known since 2007 that it contains a weakness that gives knowledgeable adversaries the ability to decrypt encrypted communications that rely on the function. Documents provided by former NSA subcontractor Edward Snowden showed the weakness could be exploited by the US spy agency, The New York Times reported in 2013.

Many more details at Ars Technica.

Russia will decide on banning people from coming out as gay next week

This is disgusting. And it is exactly the type of nonsense the right flank of the GOP wants to do here in America. Remember that when you vote in the upcoming primary AND general elections over the next year and a half.

Via Gay Star News:

Russia’s State Duma will decide on whether to ban people from coming out as gay next week on 19 January.

Two senior Russian Communist MPs Ivan Nikitchuk and Nikolai Arefyev have presented a bill calling for people who come out as LGBTI to serve up to 15 days behind bars.

Any public displays of affection among gay men will result in jail time and a fine of 5,000 rubles ($80, €60).

The proposed bill is only targeting gay men as women, according to the lawmakers, are more ‘reasonable’ and can ‘manage their emotions’.

The legislation is intended at strengthening ‘traditional Orthodox values’.

Harlem Hate Pastor James David Manning Calls for Fasting to Election Trump

Notoriously bigoted Pastor James David Manning of the ATLAH World Missionary Church on 123rd Street in New York City calls for forty days of fasting to help elect Donald Trump.

Via Joe.My.God:

Harlem hate pastor James David Manning today announced 40 days of fasting and prayer to convince God to make Donald Trump our next president. The fasting and prayer will take place daily between 9AM to 730PM. Then there’s a bunch of typically deranged stuff about Obama, who is definitely a “flat-out stomp-down illegally elected Muslim.”

Connors Farm Conservation Area

I’m going to start posting about the hikes I take – hopefully other people can use the information to enjoy them as much as I do!

Trail: Connors Farm Conservation Area

Location: Smithfield, Rhode Island

Trailhead: Between 20 & 24 Connors Farm Road, Smithfield, Rhode Island. Off street parking for 4 or 5 cars, well marked

First Hiked: 12/6/2015

Difficulty: Moderate, due to extreme elevations and rocky terrain.

Dogs Allowed: Yes – Please pick up after your dog! Leashes required. Due to the difficulty of the terrain I would not bring my dog again. Larger and well trained dogs will do well.

Owned By: Town of Smithfield Land Trust


So I found this hike quite on accident, and I loved it. Don’t let the simple walk into the land conservation area fool you, this place is home to some steep and rocky hills. I was pleased to see that the trails are well blazoned and at every trail intersection is a map with a little “you are here” arrow (very rare in my experience). It was late in the afternoon so I decided to stick with the red trail — seeing as I had my dog with me this was a smart decision. After heading right I crossed a small wooden bridge and the first hill. There was a little marshy area with some bird houses.

Just pass the turn-off for the blue trail the path became very steep upwards. At the top the hill the path continues along the cliffs (perhaps glacial formations) with excellent views to the forest below. It took me just under a half hour to walk the 1 mile of the red trail — I will be going back without my dog to check out the rest of the area.


Much respect to Bear for being such a trooper!



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