Red wing blackbirds continue to menace people in Lincoln Park:
"Red-winged blackbirds are protecting their nests, and they can be pretty mean about it," said Kate Golemblewski, spokeswoman for the Field Museum.
"They don't get aggressive until they are well into the breeding season and have a nest to protect. They are highly territorial, aggressive to almost anything that comes too close, especially things that are bigger than they are and that they see as a threat, including hawks, crows, cats and people."
Fortunately for Chicagoans who like to stroll around outside when the weather is agreeable, the territory red-winged blackbirds prefer to occupy is relatively remote in the city. "Peterson First Guides" to North American birds says they like "marshes, swamps and hayfields."
Of course, those areas include the lakefront, including around the bike path.
Trump has outdone himself with this doozy of a cabinet nomination:
Donald Trump intends to select Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, a senior transition official confirmed to NBC News Wednesday — the clearest sign yet the president-elect will pursue an agenda that could undo President Obama's climate change legacy.
An ally to the fossil fuel industry, Pruitt has aggressively fought against environmental regulations, becoming one of a number of attorneys general to craft a 28-state lawsuit against the Obama administration's rules to curb carbon emissions. The case is currently awaiting a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which heard oral arguments in September.
Pruitt, who questions the impact of climate change, along with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, penned an op-ed in the Tulsa World earlier this year that called criticism they've received "un-American."
Meanwhile, Josh Marshall raises the alarm that having four (or five) recently-retired generals in top national security positions is not normal, for very good reasons. He concludes, "as a pattern, a government dominated by recently retired generals is a very negative development. Even if the nominees in question are not part of his thinking, there's little doubt that Trump's decision to nominate so many generals is rooted in a mix of his own lack of military service and his instinctive inability to think of relations between people or nations as anything but ones of domination."
It just keeps looking more and more like 1933.
Today marks the 49th anniversary of the most odiferous disaster ever to strike the shores of Chicago:
[D]uring the 1930s, these alewives got into Lake Michigan. They weren’t much of a problem because the bigger fish–like the trout–would eat them. But the sea lamprey came along and ate the trout. Sea lampreys didn’t eat alewives, so suddenly, the lake had all these alewives and no predators.
Pretty soon there are alewives filling the lake. That’s what today’s story is about—July 7, 1967. There are so many alewives around Chicago that it’s become national news. Even Time magazine is talking about it.
Of course, those alewives would be decaying, and you can imagine the smell—well, you probably don’t want to. The flies would come in, and the beaches would be a mess. The city would have to use tractors and bulldozers to clear off the beaches.
Nobody knew how many dead alewives there were. Experts said hundreds of millions, maybe a billion. A guy in a plane over the lake saw a ribbon of drifting dead alewives 40 miles long.
I remember these die-offs continuing until the late 1970s. Today, we have salmon in the lake, so fewer alewives. At least, until the carp get here...