Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

EcoTerrorists in Seattle?

Hunt is on: Who torched the Street of Dreams?
By Steve Miletich
Seattle Times staff reporter

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ELLEN M. BANNER / The Seattle Times
An aerial view of efforts Monday to put out fires in four Street of Dreams homes in Snohomish County. The homes were part of what’s called a “rural cluster development” and were built to higher environmental standards. The home on the left was a Craftsman known as Copper Falls, and the one on the right was the Greenleaf Retreat.

Working with few clues, federal investigators face a daunting task as they try to determine whether a shadowy group of radical environmentalists torched three multimillion-dollar homes along a Street of Dreams in Snohomish County on Monday.

Although a spray-painted banner left at the scene contained the initials of the Earth Liberation Front, it took nearly a decade of groundwork in a previous case before investigators cracked a Pacific Northwest cell of the ELF responsible for more than a dozen arsons beginning in 1996.

The homes gutted in Monday’s inferno had drawn tens of thousands of people last summer who paid to gawk at their architecture, interiors and sheer size.

The fires left law-enforcement officials questioning whether they were timed to coincide with jury deliberations in the federal trial of an alleged ELF member accused of helping set the 2001 fire that gutted the UW Center for Urban Horticulture.

“I guess you could say we’re not surprised,” said Mark Bartlett, a senior federal prosecutor involved in the UW-related trial.

The pre-dawn fires in the Maltby area of Snohomish County destroyed the three homes and damaged a fourth, and investigators were looking into the possibility that an attempt was made to torch a fifth house. None of the homes was occupied, and no one was injured in the three-alarm fire that shot flames 100 feet into the air.

The FBI is investigating the fires as a possible “domestic terrorism act,” said FBI spokesman Fred Gutt in Seattle. The Snohomish County sheriff’s Office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives also are participating as part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

You can read the entire article HERE

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March 4, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Building, Counter-terrorism, Crime, Cultural, Detective/Mystery, Living Conditions, News, Seattle, Social Issues | 5 Comments

Start With Breakfast, Stay Lean

Today in BBC Health News

Breakfast ‘keeps teenagers lean’

In a five year study of more than 2,000 youngsters, those who skipped breakfast were found to weigh about 5lbs (2.3kg) more than those who ate first thing.

This was despite the fact that the breakfast-eaters consumed more calories in the course of the day.

But the study in Pediatrics found they were likely to be much more active.

The University of Minnesota research adds weight to a growing body of evidence that those who eat breakfast – whether young or old – are leaner than those who do not.

“It may seem counter-intuitive,” said Mark Pereira, who led the research. “But while they ate more calories, they did more to burn those off, and that may be because those who ate breakfast did not feel so lethargic.

“While it’s best to go for a healthy option – a wholegrain cereal for instance – the evidence does seem to suggest that eating anything is better than eating nothing at all.”

Read the entire article HERE

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(AdventureMan’s favorite breakfast: biscuits n’ gravy)

March 4, 2008 Posted by | Diet / Weight Loss, Experiment, Health Issues, News | 2 Comments

New Crop Palm Trees

Sitting over a long lunch, a friend asked me if I could remember my earliest impressions of Kuwait, and all I could remember was that the traffic speeds scared the hell out of me. Then, yesterday morning, we were driving on 40 and my memory was jogged; I remember moving here from Qatar and thinking how GREEN Kuwait is.

Qatar is impeccably clean. Street crews are out all the time, insuring that the highways are immaculate. There are beautiful flowers and wide boulevards. But when you leave Qatar, you realize your eyes are starved for green. I remember landing here the first time, and seeing pockets of green, even in very desert-like areas. I love the way the government has planted trees, especially palm trees. Your mind may not always register them, but it makes for a nicer environment.

I noticed recently a new crop of palm tree antennas. I think this is a total hoot. A generation ago, everyone in this area was buying Eiffel tower replicas for their roofs to bring in TV signals; now the communication towers are being disguised – and I love it. I blogged about this a while back but this time, I am going to challenge YOU – take your camera and open your eyes. When you see a disguised communications tower, shoot it.

How do you recognize them? They are taller than any real palm tree you have ever seen. They have no dead leaves and nothing on the trunk. They tend to be near hotels, but I also see them occasionally in a residential district.

You can blog it, or you can send it to me as a JPEG attachment and I will publish them. Be sure to tell us where it is taken. Here is the one I saw at the Hilton:

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Here is the previous entry on Palm-Tree-Antennas.

And bravo to whoever came up with this idea – it is clever and it is a great disguise for those communication towers. Gives me a grin whenever I see them.

No sunrise today; the dust is rolling in and the sun can barely be seen. The temperature at 0830 is 66°F/19°C.

March 4, 2008 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Blogroll, Communication, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Humor, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Public Art, Weather | 9 Comments