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neanderthal 1

CU Boulder – Neanderthals Not Inferior To Modern Humans



neanderthal 2The widely held notion that Neanderthals were dimwitted and that their inferior intelligence allowed them to be driven to extinction by the much brighter ancestors of modern humans is not supported by scientific evidence, according to a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Neanderthals thrived in a large swath of Europe and Asia between about 350,000 and 40,000 years ago. They disappeared after our ancestors, a group referred to as “anatomically modern humans,” crossed into Europe from Africa.

In the past, some researchers have tried to explain the demise of the Neanderthals by suggesting that the newcomers were superior to Neanderthals in key ways, including their ability to hunt, communicate, innovate and adapt to different environments.

But in an extensive review of recent Neanderthal research, CU-Boulder researcher Paola Villa and co-author Wil Roebroeks, an archaeologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands, make the case that the available evidence does not support the opinion that Neanderthals were less advanced than anatomically modern humans. Their paper was published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

Villa and Roebroeks scrutinized nearly a dozen common explanations for Neanderthal extinction that rely largely on the notion that the Neanderthals were inferior to anatomically modern humans. These include the hypotheses that Neanderthals did not use complex, symbolic communication; that they were less efficient hunters who had inferior weapons; and that they had a narrow diet that put them at a competitive disadvantage to anatomically modern humans, who ate a broad range of things.

The researchers found that none of the hypotheses were supported by the available research. For example, evidence from multiple archaeological sites in Europe suggests that Neanderthals hunted as a group, using the landscape to aid them.

Researchers have shown that Neanderthals likely herded hundreds of bison to their death by steering them into a sinkhole in southwestern France. At another site used by Neanderthals, this one in the Channel Islands, fossilized remains of 18 mammoths and five woolly rhinoceroses were discovered at the base of a deep ravine. These findings imply that Neanderthals could plan ahead, communicate as a group and make efficient use of their surroundings, the authors said.

Other archaeological evidence unearthed at Neanderthal sites provides reason to believe that Neanderthals did in fact have a diverse diet. Microfossils found in Neanderthal teeth and food remains left behind at cooking sites indicate that they may have eaten wild peas, acorns, pistachios, grass seeds, wild olives, pine nuts and date palms depending on what was locally available.

Additionally, researchers have found ochre, a kind of earth pigment, at sites inhabited by Neanderthals, which may have been used for body painting. Ornaments have also been collected at Neanderthal sites. Taken together, these findings suggest that Neanderthals had cultural rituals and symbolic communication.


Source: CU Boulder


Melanie Nun

Nun in 3000 Meter Steeplechase


cu track field 2


In her debut in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, freshman Melanie Nun turned heads, with a first place finish on Saturday at the Jack Christiansen Invitational.

Nun recorded a time of 10:59.36, which was more than a minute faster than the runner up, who recorded a time of 12:14.34.

Alex Kizirian and Emily Hunsucker got the weekend off to a hot start on Friday with first place finishes in the hammer throw. Kizirian recorded a new personal best with a toss of 198-11. Hunsucker threw for a mark of 208-10. Hunsucker dominated on the women’s side, throwing almost 18 feet further than the runner up.

In addition, Brittany Lewis added a second place finish in the long jump with a mark of 18-10.50. Abrianna Torres finished just after Lewis to earn third for the Buffs with a mark of 18-7.75.

Dillon Shije also recorded a second place finish in the 1500-meter run, recording a time of 4:01.47, a new personal best.

The sprinters found success at the meet as well. Shaw Gifford finished second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.37, followed closely by Austin Mitsch in third place with a 21.48 finish. Gifford also finished third with a time of 10.66 in the 100-meter dash, again followed by Mitsch in fourth place. Mitsch recorded a time of 10.67 in the event.

The men finished the 4×100 meter relay in second place, after CSU, for a combined time of 40.77.

On the women’s side, Lindsy Mattson recorded a third place finish in the 200-meter dash, running in 24.55.

As a team, CU’s men’s side tied for second place with Air Force Academy combining for 112.50 points. The women finished fourth with a total of 101.50 points.

The Buffs will be back in action next weekend at the Longhorn Invitational on Saturday, May 3 in Austin, Texas and at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford, Calif. next Sunday, May 4.


Source: CU Buffs


palm tree

Palm oil production a source of heat-trapping methane


Methane leaks from palm oil wastewater
are a climate concern, CU-Boulder study says

In recent years, palm oil production has come under fire from environmentalists concerned about the deforestation of land in the tropics to make way for new palm plantations. Now there is a new reason to be concerned about palm oil’s environmental impact, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder.

An analysis published Feb. 26 in the journal Nature Climate Change shows that the wastewater produced during the processing of palm oil is a significant source of heat-trapping methane in the atmosphere. But the researchers also present a possible solution: capturing the methane and using it as a renewable energy source.

The methane bubbling up from a single palm oil wastewater lagoon during a year is roughly equivalent to the emissions from 22,000 passenger vehicles in the United States, the analysis found. This year, global methane emissions from palm oil wastewater are expected to equal 30 percent of all fossil fuel emissions from Indonesia, where widespread deforestation for palm oil production has endangered orangutans.

The methane bubbling up from a single palm oil wastewater lagoon during a year is roughly equivalent to the emissions from 22,000 passenger vehicles in the United States, the analysis found.

The methane bubbling up from a single palm oil wastewater lagoon during a year is roughly equivalent to the emissions from 22,000 passenger vehicles in the United States, the analysis found.

“This is a largely overlooked dimension of palm oil’s environmental problems,” said lead author Philip Taylor, a postdoctoral researcher at CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR). “The industry has become a poster child for agriculture’s downsides, but capturing wastewater methane leaks for energy would be a step in the right direction.”

The global demand for palm oil has spiked in recent years as processed food manufacturers have sought an alternative to trans fats.

For now, the carbon footprint of cutting down forests to make way for palm plantations dwarfs the greenhouse gases coming from the wastewater lagoons. But while deforestation is expected to slow as the focus shifts to more intensive agriculture on existing plantations, the emissions from wastewater lagoons will continue unabated as long as palm oil is produced, the researchers said.

However, the climate impact of the leaking methane could be mitigated by capturing the gas and using it to fuel power plants. Biogas technology has been used successfully for decades and it can produce renewable electricity at a cost that’s competitive with traditional fuels, the authors said.

The amount of methane biogas that went uncollected from palm oil wastewater lagoons last year alone could have met a quarter of Malaysia’s electricity needs. Tapping into that unused fuel supply could yield both financial and environmental benefits, the authors said.

palm tree babies

Capturing methane at wastewater lagoons could be encouraged by making it a requirement before palm oil products can be certified as sustainable, the authors said. Current sustainability certifications do not address wastewater emissions.

Taylor, whose research typically focuses on carbon cycling in old-growth tropical forests, was inspired to do the analysis by undergraduate researcher Hana Fancher, who also is a co-author of the journal article. Fancher and Taylor were doing research in Costa Rica, where palm oil production is spreading, when Fancher became curious about how the oil was being processed.

“She has a wastewater background,” Taylor said. “She ended up doing an honors thesis on palm oil agriculture and wastewater emissions. This paper is an extension of that thinking.”

Other co-authors from CU-Boulder include Associate Professor Diana Nemergut, doctoral student Samantha Weintraub and Professor Alan Townsend, in whose lab the work was based. Other co-authors include Cory Cleveland of the University of Montana, William Wieder of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Teresa Bilinski of St. Edwards University.


digi journo

CU symposium: Is digital journalism an oxymoron?


Ethics of digital media to be examined
at CU-Boulder symposium March 14-15

Students, scholars and media professionals will discuss media “in the fast-paced world of digital journalism” at a University of Colorado Boulder symposium March 14-15.

CU-Boulder’s Journalism and Mass Communication program will host the conference including two talks that are free and open to the public.

Jay Rosen will give one of the talks on March 14 at 10 a.m. at the Old Main Chapel. Rosen, who will discuss “The Ethics of Point-of-View Journalism,” is a journalism professor at New York University and a media critic. He is an adviser at First Look Media, a new venture featuring the work of Glenn Greenwald, who published the explosive national security documents leaked by former government contractor Edward Snowden. Rosen also writes the blog PressThink.

Glen Greenwald is a shining example of digital journalism. Others,,,not so much.

Glen Greenwald is a shining example of good digital journalism. Others,,,not so much.

At 2 p.m. on March 14 at the Old Main Chapel, Steve Buttry will present “Upholding and Updating Journalism Values.” Buttry is the digital transformation editor for Digital First Media. The company operates about 800 multi-platform media products nationally, including several in Colorado. He is a prominent consultant in digital journalism and author of the blog The Buttry Diary.

During other portions of the symposium, participants will explore issues such as the loss of the “ethics support group” found in traditional newsrooms for today’s freelancers, developers and entrepreneurs; today’s ethics challenges in the journalism work environment; and what the latest research and journalistic practice says about norms and values in the digital age.

“Technology has enabled new forms of public communication that raise new kinds of ethical questions,” said Paul Voakes, CU-Boulder professor of journalism and mass communication. “For example: When corrections can be made seamlessly and instantly online, is first-time accuracy now overrated? What are the appropriate journalistic uses of drones? In a profession increasingly populated by developers, activists, entrepreneurs and volunteers, where does a code of ethics fit?”

Excluding the two public talks, symposium participants will work in groups to write brief papers about the issues discussed. The papers could lead to collaborative essays or research projects, according to symposium organizers.

The symposium is supported by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, Colorado State University and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

For more information about CU-Boulder’s Journalism and Mass Communication program visit




Asian migrants stuck on land bridge for milleniums


CU-Boulder-led study says Bering Land Bridge area
likely a long-term refuge for early Americans

A new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder bolsters the theory that the first Americans, who are believed to have come over from northeast Asia during the last ice age, may have been isolated on the Bering Land Bridge for thousands of years before spreading throughout the Americas.

The theory, now known as the “Beringia Standstill,” was first proposed in 1997 by two Latin American geneticists and refined in 2007 by a team led by the University of Tartu in Estonia that sampled mitrochondrial DNA from more than 600 Native Americans. The researchers found that mutations in the DNA indicated a group of their direct ancestors from Siberia was likely isolated for at least several thousand years in the region of the Bering Land Bridge, the now-submerged plain that lies between northeast Asia and Alaska once exposed by a significantly lower sea level.

CU-Boulder researcher John Hoffecker, lead author of a short paper article appearing in the Feb. 28 issue of Science magazine, said the Beringia Standstill model gained little traction outside of the genetics community after it was proposed and has been seen by some scientists outside of the field as far-fetched. But the new paper by Hoffecker and co-authors Scott Elias of Royal Holloway, University of London, and Dennis O’Rourke of the University of Utah adds credence to the Beringia Standstill idea by further linking the genetics to the paleoecological evidence.

The Beringia Land Bridge was relatively temperate during the last ice age

The Beringia Land Bridge was relatively temperate during the last ice age


“A number of supporting pieces have fallen in place during the last decade, including new evidence that central Beringia supported a shrub tundra region with some trees during the last glacial maximum and was characterized by surprisingly mild temperatures, given the high latitude,” said Hoffecker of CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. The last glacial maximum peaked roughly 21,000 years ago and was marked by the growth of vast ice sheets in North America and Europe.

While a debate rages on about when early humans first migrated into the New World, many archaeologists now believe it was sometime around 15,000 years ago after retreating glaciers opened access to coastal and interior routes into North America.

The relatively mild summer climate in Beringia at the time was caused by North Pacific circulation patterns that brought moist and relatively warm air to the region during the last glacial maximum. Geologists believe the Beringia gateway between Siberia and Alaska was more than 600 miles wide at the time.

Hoffecker and others are now theorizing that a population of hundreds or thousands of people parked itself in central Beringia for 5,000 years or more. One key to the extended occupation may have been the presence of wood in some places to use as a fuel to supplement bone, which burns hot and fast. Experiments have shown that at least some wood is necessary to make bone practical as a fuel.

Elias, a paleoecologist and also an INSTAAR affiliate, said research using fossil pollen, plant and insect material from sediment cores from the now submerged landscape show that the Bering Land Bridge tundra environment contained enough woody plants and trees like birch, willow and alder to provide a supplement to bone.

Work by Elias and others included the analysis of certain beetle species that live in very specific temperature zones, allowing them to be used as tiny thermometers. The insects indicated that temperatures there were relatively mild during last glacial maximum that ran from about 27,000 years to 20,000 years ago, only slightly cooler than temperatures in the region today.

“The climate on the land bridge and adjacent parts of Siberia and Alaska was a bit wetter than the interior regions like central Alaska and the Yukon, but not a lot warmer,” said Elias. “Our data show that woody shrubs were available on the land bridge, which would have facilitated the making of fires by the people there.”

Evidence from the 2007 study indicated a set of genetic mutations in mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down from mother to offspring, clearly accumulated after the divergence of people from their Asian parent groups in Siberia but before their dispersal throughout the Western Hemisphere, said O’Rourke. In addition, ancient DNA from human skeletal remains found at a 24,000-year-old archaeological site in southern Siberia also appears consistent with the divergence of Native American groups from their Asian forbearers by that time window, he said.

“The genetic record has been very clear for several years that the Native American genome must have arisen in an isolated population at least by 25,000 years ago, and the bulk of the migrants to the Americas really didn’t arrive south of the ice sheets until nearly 15,000 years ago,” O’Rourke said. “The paleoecological data, which I think most geneticists have not been familiar with, indicate that Beringia was not a uniform environment, and there was a shrub tundra region, or refugium, that likely provided habitats conducive to continuous human habitation.”

“From my view the genetics and paleoecology data come together nicely,” said Hoffecker, who co-authored a 2007 book with Elias titled “The Human Ecology of Beringia.” While the weakest link to the Out of Beringia theory is the lack of archaeological evidence, Hoffecker believes future research on now submerged parts of Beringia as well as lowlands in western Alaska and eastern Siberia that still remain above water may hold clues to ancient habitation by Beringia residents, who eventually moved on to be the first group to inhabit the Americas.

Hoffecker also believes that the Beringia inhabitants during the last glacial maximum could have made successful hunting forays into the uninhabited steppe-tundra region to both the east and west, where drier conditions and more grass supported a plentiful array of large grazing animals, including steppe bison, horse and mammoth.

There is now solid evidence for humans in Beringia before the last glacial maximum, as geneticists first predicted in 1997, said Hoffecker. After the maximum, there are two sets of archaeological remains dating to less than 15,000 years ago. “One represents a late migration from Asia into Alaska at that time,” he said. “The other has no obvious source outside Beringia and may represent the people who are thought to have sheltered on the land bridge during the glacial maximum.

“If we are looking for a place to put all of these people during the last glacial maximum, Beringia may be the only realistic option,” said Hoffecker.

A video news story on the research is available at




Time to End the Cheney/Halliburton Loophole


Wednesday, 12 February 2014 14:38
By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed
Reprinted by

We live in a fracked up country, but thanks to Dick Cheney, there’s pretty much nothing we can do about it.
Over the past decade, the extraction of natural gas through a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has emerged as one of the fossil fuel industry’s biggest money makers.
In fact, according to Bloomberg, fracking was the biggest reason American oil output hit a 25-year high in 2013.
The boom in fracking is, quite literally, hitting close to home.
A recent Wall Street Journal report looked at 11 of the country’s biggest energy-producing states and found that – “At least 15.3 million Americans lived within a mile of a well that has been drilled since 2000. That is more people than live in Michigan or New York City.”
That report also found that in Johnson County, Texas alone “…more than 3,900 wells dot the county and some 99.5% of its 150,000 residents live within a mile of a well.”

Cheney face has become lopsided from being an inveterate liar

Cheney face has become lopsided from being an inveterate liar

Like many places across the U.S., Johnson County is now basically one big drill site.
Not surprisingly, the fossil fuel industry is pushing fracking hard. Big oil has even found a friend in President Obama, who touted natural gas as a “bridge fuel” in his most recent State of the Union address.

All due respect to the president, but fracking is not safe. Numerous studies have shown that it contaminates drinking water, threatens public health, and, in some cases, even causes earthquakes.
If any industry in the country needs regulation it’s the fracking industry, but thanks in large part to Dick Cheney, it’s exempt from having to follow most important environmental laws on the books.
Let me explain: Back in 2005. President – excuse me Vice President – Cheney was hard at work doing what he did best: using his power as the second most powerful man in the country to protect his cronies in the oil business.
His former employer, Halliburton, wanted to get more involved in the emerging American fracking industry, but it faced a potential major roadblock in the form of a 1974 law called the Safe Water Drinking Act.
That act, signed into law by Republican President Gerald Ford, requires the Environmental Protection Agency to keep toxic chemicals from getting into Americans’ drinking water.
Cheney didn’t care about public safety but he did care about Halliburton’s bottom-line – after all, he was a big Halliburton stockholder when he became vice president – and so he joined the lobbying efforts to get Congress to carve out an exemption for fracking in the Safe Water Drinking Act.
Thanks to that carve-out – let’s call it the “Halliburton loophole” – the EPA can’t regulate fracking poisons even when they get into our water supply.
But Cheney and his oil industry buddies didn’t stop there. In 2005, Congress also gave the natural gas industry an exemption from having to write up reports on its activities under the National Environmental Policy Act and expanded its exemption from having to follow Clean Water Act regulations on what kind of chemicals it can dump in storm water runoff.
Coupled with existing exemptions to a variety of pollution laws like the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Superfund Act, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, the 2005 carve-outs gave the fracking industry seven total exemptions from important environmental regulations.
Nine years later, it’s clear that Dick Cheney and Halliburton got what they wanted. Free from having to follow even the most basic environmental regulations, the fracking industry is bigger than ever and will likely continue to grow well into the future.
While other countries like France and Bulgaria with rich reserves of natural gas have banned fracking altogether, we here in the United States have done the exact opposite.
Thanks to Dick Cheney’s Halliburton loophole, anyone who lives near a fracking site is one of the oil industry’s guinea pigs in a giant multi-decade fracking experiment.
But we don’t have to sit back and take it while big gas pollutes our water, our bodies, and our environment.
We need to take action now to close the Halliburton loophole and all the rest of the fracking industry’s exemptions before more people’s water supplies and lives are ruined.
Call your local member of Congress right now and tell them that it’s time to say goodbye to the Bush years once and for all and close the Halliburton loopholes.
This article was first published on Truthout and any reprint or reproduction on any other website must acknowledge Truthout as the original site of publication.

CBD logo

Another “sneak attack” on wildlife from GOP



Disguised as “Sportsmen’s Heritage Act, ”Legislation Would Also Roll Back Public-lands Protection, Promote Polar Bear Trophy Hunting


WASHINGTON— The U.S. House of Representatives will vote Tuesday on H.R. 3590, the misnamed “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act.” Under the guise of expanding hunting and fishing access on public lands, the Republican-supported bill aims to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting millions of birds and other animals from lead poisoning. The extremist legislation also contains provisions to undermine the Wilderness Act, dispense with environmental review for projects on national wildlife refuges, and promote polar bear hunting.

Lead poisoning from shotgun pellets still effects wildlife. Two years ago, a golden eagle that had nested in the Flatirons for several tears was found lead-poisoned on the NOAA/NIST grounds.

Lead poisoning from shotgun pellets still effects wildlife. Two years ago, a golden eagle that had nested in the Flatirons for several tears was found lead-poisoned on the NOAA/NIST grounds.



“Another cynical assault by House Republicans to roll back protections for public lands and wildlife,” said Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This supposed ‘sportsmen’s legislation’ would actually jeopardize the health of hunters, promote needless lead poisoning of our wildlife, and prevent hunters, anglers and other members of the public from weighing in on decisions about how to manage 150 million acres of federal land and water.”


H.R. 3590 seeks to exempt toxic lead in ammunition and fishing equipment from regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act, the federal law that regulates toxic substances. The EPA is currently allowed to regulate or ban any chemical substance for a particular use, including the lead used in shot and bullets. Affordable, effective nontoxic alternatives exist for lead ammunition and lead sinkers for all hunting and fishing activities.


Spent lead from hunting is a widespread killer of more than 75 species of birds such as bald eagles, endangered condors, loons and swans, and nearly 50 mammals. More than 265 organizations in 40 states have been pressuring the EPA to enact federal rules requiring use of nontoxic bullets and shot for hunting and shooting sports.


“There are powerful reasons we banned toxic lead from gasoline, plumbing and paint — lead is a known neurotoxin that endangers the health of hunters and their families and painfully kills bald eagles and other wildlife,” said Snape.


H.R. 3590 would also exempt all national wildlife refuge management decisions from review and public disclosure under the National Environmental Policy Act and allow the import of polar bear “trophies” from Canada. The Republican-controlled House approved similar “Sportsmen’s Act” legislation in 2012 by a vote of 274-146, but the bill was stopped in the Senate.



Despite being banned in 1992 for hunting waterfowl, spent lead shotgun pellets from other hunting uses continue to be frequently ingested by waterfowl. Many birds also consume lead-based fishing tackle lost in lakes and rivers, often with deadly consequences. Birds and animals are also poisoned when scavenging on carcasses containing lead-bullet fragments. More than 500 scientific papers have documented the dangers to wildlife from lead exposure. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calculates that more than 14,000 tons of toxic lead shot is deposited in the environment each year in the United States by upland bird hunting alone.


Lead ammunition leaves fragments and numerous imperceptible, dust-sized particles that contaminate game meat far from a bullet track, causing significant health risks to people eating wild game. Recent scientific studies show that hunters have higher lead levels in their bloodstream, and more associated health problems, than the public at large. Some state health agencies have recalled venison donated to feed the hungry because of dangerous lead contamination from bullet fragments.


There are many alternatives to lead rifle bullets and shotgun pellets. More than a dozen manufacturers market hundreds of varieties and calibers of nonlead bullets and shot made of steel, copper and alloys of other metals, with satisfactory-to-superior ballistics. A recent study debunks claims that price and availability of nonlead ammunition could preclude switching to nontoxic rounds for hunting. Researchers found no major difference in the retail price of equivalent lead-free and lead-core ammunition for most popular calibers.


Hunters in areas with lead ammunition restrictions have transitioned to hunting with nontoxic bullets. There has been no decrease in game tags or hunting activity since state requirements for nonlead hunting went into effect in significant portions of Southern California in 2008 to protect condors from lead poisoning. California recently passed legislation to transition to lead-free hunting statewide by 2019.


Learn more about the Center’s Get the Lead Out campaign.


CU men dispatch lowly Utes in overtime



By B.G. Brooks, Contributing Editor


BOULDER – It was the kind of game that Tad Boyle had challenged his team to win – down-and-dirty, back-and-forth, blink-and-you’re-done.

Boyle’s Colorado Buffaloes didn’t blink. Never considered it either. Down 12 points in the second half, the Buffs caught Utah, got caught by a late Utes 3-pointer, then mustered enough want-to to win 79-75 in overtime Saturday at the Coors Events Center.
“Holy cow,” Boyle said afterwards. “We needed that one bad and our guys responded . . . because of what we’ve been through, it doesn’t matter who you are, you need to win your games at home and hold serve. We dropped one already (to UCLA) we’d love to have back. But it doesn’t work that way so this was a big game for us.”
Maybe bigger than big; monstrous wouldn’t be an exaggeration.
Losers in four of their previous five games without Spencer Dinwiddie and Tre’Shaun Fletcher, the Buffs needed step-up performances from stand-in players and command performances from their veterans. Finally, the afternoon came together on both fronts.
CU (16-6 overall, 5-4 Pac-12) had five players in double figures – four of them starters and two of those (Xavier Johnson, Josh Scott) finishing with double-doubles. Scott scored a game-high 20 points and tied Johnson, who scored 11, with a game-best 10 rebounds. Forward Wesley Gordon added 12 points and six rebounds as the Buffs blasted the Utes on the boards, 42-24.
CU was no less productive in the backcourt, with guards Askia Booker and Xavier Talton combining for 32 points. Booker’s stat line was near staggering: 18 points, eight rebounds, seven of the Buffs’ 13 assists, 7-of-10 from the free throw line and one steal.

But it was Talton who might have been the Buffs’ biggest force. Scoring a career-high 14 points, the sophomore from Sterling hit back-to-back 3-pointers during a 14-2 second-half run that brought CU back from its 12-point deficit. He also opened the OT scoring with another trey –

XT was four-of-five from beyond the arc, three in regulation and one in OT

XT was four-of-five from beyond the arc, three in regulation and one in OT

– as the Buffs finally put away the Utes (14-7, 3-6).
Talton, who with an angry cut under his left eye looked as if he’d gone 10 rounds in the ring rather than 22 minutes on the court, said he’d never experienced such a game – “Not on both ends. I think everybody just found me and I was feeling more confident. Just being in the gym this last week we talked about competing . . . we’ve been in the guy shooting a lot, so I think that’s something that’s helped out.”
The Buffs needed good rhythm and good vibes – more than desperately – and ultimately found both. At home for three games, CU couldn’t afford a loss to Utah to precede visits by Washington State (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network) and Washington (Sunday, Feb. 9, 6 p.m., ESPNU).
“This was a big game no matter how many we’d won or lost before,” Scott said. “It was a home game and you need to win at home. So, to me it was a next step for this team . . . a big step forward and hopefully it can keep going forward from here.”
Somewhere down the line – March perhaps? – losing at home to Utah would have left a bad mark. The Buffs had beaten the Utes in six of seven previous meetings, and Utah came to Boulder with a five-game road losing streak and having lost 10 road games in a row stretching to last season.
Those streaks almost ended at the CEC. After CU rallied from its 47-35 deficit to tie the score at 49-49 on the second of Talton’s back-to-back treys, Utah stayed close in the final 10 minutes and sent the game into overtime on Brandon Taylor’s fifth 3-pointer with 6 seconds left in regulation.
Utah had come into the game shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc, but the Utes shot 50 percent (four-of-eight) from long range in the first half and finished the game at 45.8 percent (11-of-24). Taylor and Delon Wright finished with 17 points each, with the versatile Wright adding 11 assists and seven steals – five of those in the first half.
They contributed to CU’s 10 first-half turnovers that produced 17 Utah points. But the Buffs settled themselves in the second half, committing only five more miscues, and amped up their board work to finish with a 42-24 advantage.
“We got out-rebounded by 18 – that’s the difference in the ball game,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. “Getting exposed in our last two games by that number of offensive rebounds by the other team, we don’t have a chance to compete against anybody.”
Boyle, meanwhile, called gathering offensive boards a large part of the mental makeup he’s been calling for: “Toughness shows up in rebounding stats . . . plus-18, that was the difference in the game.”
The Buffs fell behind 4-0, but quickly gathered themselves and led by as many as seven points on three occasions before the Utes stormed back with a 14-0 run and went up 33-26 with 2:53 left before halftime.
Utah stretched its lead to 12 by outscoring CU 10-4 to open the second half. The Utes added to their 3-point field goal total, getting a trey from Wright that followed a conventional three-point play by 7-foot center Dallin Bachynski, whose 7-2 older brother plays for Arizona State.
Down by 12 with 16:42 to play, the Buffs were sliding toward the abyss, but they never got there.
A 6-0 run – courtesy of two free throws by Xavier Johnson and baskets by Gordon and Eli Stalzer – sliced the Utes’ lead in half (47-41). And just over 3 minutes later, a 3-pointer by Xavier Talton from the left wing brought the Buffs to within 49-46 with 12:05 to play.
“You always want people to step up when their number is called,” Talton said. “I think Eli did a good job of that when he came in (and) Wesley definitely did on the boards getting the put backs and everything . . . Xavier Johnson as well. I think that if we continue to share the ball the sky’s the limit for our team.”
And “XT” wasn’t done; his trey from the left corner – set up by a Booker inside-out assist – completed a 14-2 CU run and tied the score at 49-49 at the 11:11 mark.

The last 10 minutes produced six lead changes and five ties – the final one at 62-62 after a Booker follow shot was waived off when the officials ruled the shot clock had expired.
After that, Gordon hit one of two free throws with 25 seconds left and Scott hit both of his after a Utah turnover with 19.2 seconds showing. The Buffs were up 65-62, but at the 6-second mark, Taylor drained his fourth trey of the game, tying the score and leaving time for a straightaway Booker 30-footer as time expired.
It bounded off the back of the rim and OT was next. Talton’s fourth trey of the afternoon put CU up 68-65 and Utah never caught up. After Talton added a 15-foot jumper to send the Buffs up 73-69, Booker hit five of six free throws in the OT’s final 45.8 seconds and Johnson added one of two. Another late Taylor trey pulled the Utes to 79-75 – but this one was over.
Boyle said he was most proud of Johnson’s performance and the maturity the sophomore is showing: “He’s a guy I challenged. He doesn’t like sitting on the bench but when he gives you the kind of effort he did today on both ends of the floor and rebounding the basketball, holy cow is he good.”
While conceding the game’s importance and what it might mean to the remainder of the home stand and season, Boyle refrained from calling it a “must-win.” Instead, he pared it down to this: “I want to talk about the ‘must’ possessions, because if you take care of the ‘must’ possessions the wins take care of themselves. And so do the losses when you don’t.”
More often than not on Saturday, the “must” possessions went to CU. And eventually, so did the “W.”

power plant

“Dark Money” Funds Climate Change Denial Effort


Dec 23, 2013 |By Douglas Fischer and The Daily Climate

This article originally appeared on The Daily Climate, the climate change news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.


A shift to untraceable donations by organizations denying climate change undermines democracy, according to the author of a new study tracking contributions to such groups. Image: Wikimedia Commons/Carol M. Highsmith The largest, most-consistent money fueling the climate denial movement are a number of well-funded conservative foundations built with so-called “dark money,” or concealed donations, according to an analysis released Friday afternoon.The study, by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert Brulle, is the first academic effort to probe the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the climate denial movement. It found that the amount of money flowing through third-party, pass-through foundations like DonorsTrust and Donors Capital, whose funding cannot be traced, has risen dramatically over the past five years.

In all, 140 foundations funneled $558 million to almost 100 climate denial organizations from 2003 to 2010.

Meanwhile the traceable cash flow from more traditional sources, such as Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, has disappeared.

The study was published Friday in the journal Climatic Change.

Catastrophic weather events have increased as the atmosphere warms

Catastrophic weather events have increased as the atmosphere warms


“The climate change countermovement has had a real political and ecological impact on the failure of the world to act on global warming,” Brulle said in a statement. “Like a play on Broadway, the countermovement has stars in the spotlight  – often prominent contrarian scientists or conservative politicians – but behind the stars is an organizational structure of directors, script writers and producers.”

“If you want to understand what’s driving this movement, you have to look at what’s going on behind the scenes.”

Consistent funders
To uncover that, Brulle developed a list of 118 influential climate denial organizations in the United States. He then coded data on philanthropic funding for each organization, combining information from the Foundation Center, a database of global philanthropy, with financial data submitted by organizations to the Internal Revenue Service.

According to Brulle, the largest and most consistent funders where a number of conservative foundations promoting “ultra-free-market ideas” in many realms, among them the Searle Freedom Trust, the John Williams Pope Foundation, the Howard Charitable Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.

Another key finding: From 2003 to 2007, Koch Affiliated Foundations and the ExxonMobil Foundation were “heavily involved” in funding climate change denial efforts. But Exxon hasn’t made a publically traceable contribution since 2008, and Koch’s efforts dramatically declined, Brulle said.

Coinciding with a decline in traceable funding, Brulle found a dramatic rise in the cash flowing to denial organizations from DonorsTrust, a donor-directed foundation whose funders cannot be traced. This one foundation, the assessment found, now accounts for 25 percent of all traceable foundation funding used by organizations promoting the systematic denial of climate change.

Jeffrey Zysik, chief financial officer for DonorsTrust, said in an email that neither DonorsTrust nor Donors Capital Fund “take positions with respect to any issue advocated by its grantees.”

“As with all donor-advised fund programs, grant recommendations are received from account holders,” he said. “DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund ensure that recommended grantees are IRS-approved public charities and also require that the grantee charities do not rely on significant amounts of revenue from government sources. DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund do not otherwise drive the selection of grantees, nor conduct in-depth analyses of projects or grantees unless an account holder specifically requests that service.”

Matter of democracy
In the end, Brulle concluded public records identify only a fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars supporting climate denial efforts. Some 75 percent of the income of those organizations, he said, comes via unidentifiable sources.

And for Brulle, that’s a matter of democracy. “Without a free flow of accurate information, democratic politics and government accountability become impossible,” he said. “Money amplifies certain voices above others and, in effect, gives them a megaphone in the public square.”

Powerful funders, he added, are supporting the campaign to deny scientific findings about global warming and raise doubts about the “roots and remedies” of a threat on which the science is clear.

“At the very least, American voters deserve to know who is behind these efforts.”

Editor’s Note (12/24/13): This story has been updated to reflect a late comment from DonorsTrust.


Mark Beckner: Fleet White not involved in JonBenets Murder…..mmm—kay



The Whites

For the third time in 15 years Boulder Police have repeatedly said Fleet White was not involved in JonBenets murder. Why do they keep bringing up Fleet White  then ?? And why now ? Why after reporter Charlie Brennan got the DA to release the Grand Jury findings which say John and Patsy Ramsey did it ?? White was in the house  the day of the murder, but why do the police keep going back to him ?? Are they setting a trap?? And for whom? Jon Ramsey ? These are the actions of a trap setter. Why are the police bringing this case back to life by retelling the whole saga of Fleet White and John Ramsey ??

jonbenet 1

The Ramseys

jonbenet 3

JonBenet at 6 in 1996. She’d be 24 in 2014.

The Saga is in short John Ramsey and Fleet white were best friends. They entertained together. JonBenet was friends with Whites daughter. White was with John Ramsey when he found JonBenets Body. But when John Ramsey and his wife Patsy went to Atlanta and went on CNN to claim their innocence… white and Ramsey had a huge falling out. Some say almost deadly and there were reports of a fight over a handgun on a couch.  White became a prime witness for the prosecution but in the meanwhile a California woman came forward and claimed white and his father had abused her. The tabloids and and some attorneys got a hold of the story and it blew up into a tawdry scandal. This case and story was laced with inappropriate sexuality concerning children  and the pageant industry.

Fleet White again wants the police to clear his name. Fine. But, Until John Ramsey is arrested and convicted by Boulder Police , DA and Boulder Jury there will be no peace for anyone involved.  The Ghost of JonBenet can be heard still to this day, screaming in the Boulder midnight January howling winds ” mommy why did you kill me??” listen carefully at night Boulder, you can hear here little voice.

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Mark Beckner wants this case solved before he retires.

To correct past inaccurate statements and speculation appearing in the media, and at the request of Fleet and Priscilla White, the Boulder Police Department releases the following statement:
Since December 26, 1996, the homicide of JonBenet Ramsey has been the subject of widespread news reports and speculation by the media. A great deal of that reporting and speculation targeted innocent community members whose only connection to the crime was as cooperating witnesses. This includes the Fleet White, Jr. family of Boulder who suffered embarrassment and damage to their reputations. The Boulder Police Department recognizes the suffering the Whites have endured as a result of the accusations made against the White family during the course of the investigation.
The Boulder Police Department investigators have always considered the White family to only be witnesses in this case. The Boulder Police Department has never considered the White family to be suspects in the case. In 2000, the police department did investigate allegations made by a California woman to District Attorney Alex Hunter, as reported in the press, that were intended to cast suspicion on the White family. The department found no evidence to support the unfounded allegations. There has never been any evidence to link the White family to the JonBenet Ramsey homicide.
We wish to express our gratitude for the White family’s cooperation and contributions in regard to the investigation of JonBenet’s death.
Mark R. Beckner
Chief of Police

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