Dispatches From The Edge: U.S. Death Squads?

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:47:00 AM

United Nations officials charge that secret “international intelligence services” are conducting raids to kill Afghan civilians, then hiding the perpetuators behind an “impenetrable” wall of bureaucracy. -more-

Undercurrents: Republicans Adept at Dividing and Attacking ‘The Other’

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 09:48:00 AM

While Gov. Sarah Palin’s various stances on Alaska’s infamous Bridge to Nowhere are getting the most media attention these days and make an interesting issue, it is the willingness of our Republican friends to burn any bridges over which longstanding American rifts might be joined and healed—and the progressive Democratic response—that is the real heart of this year’s presidential campaign. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Corvid Minds—Know Yourself, Know Your Enemy

By Joe Eaton
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 10:01:00 AM
A yellow-billed magpie, so far untested in the lab.

The corvid family continues to surprise. The remarkable cognitive abilities of these birds—ravens, crows, jays, and kin—have been well documented. The Clark’s nutcracker, a jaylike bird, stores thousands of pine-nut caches each fall and is able to relocate them under a blanket of winter snow. Ravens use insight rather than trial-and-error to retrieve chunks of salami dangling from strings. New Caledonian crows fashion leaves into tools to probe rotting wood for tasty grubs. Steller’s jays have been observed brandishing pointed sticks as weapons. -more-

About the House: If You Think You Can’t Replace a Toilet, Think Again

By Matt Cantor
Thursday September 11, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

Water conservation is a global warming issue and an energy issue and a cost issue. It’s global and it’s local. It’s a water availability issue and a pollution issue. The population of the planet was estimated at 6.2 billion in 2000 and expected to increase by 3 billion by 2025 (mostly in the developing world, of course, since we’re not allowed to talk about birth control or distribute condoms). That’s only 16 years from now. -more-