Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Find Rob Brezsny's "Free Will Astrology" online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “My soul is a fire that suffers if it doesn’t burn,” said Jean Prevost, a writer and hero of the French Resistance during World War II. “I need three or four cubic feet of new ideas every day, as a steamboat needs coal.” Your soul may not be quite as blazing as his, Aries, and you may normally be able to get along fine with just a few cubic inches of new ideas per day. But I expect that in the next three to four weeks, you will both need and yearn to generate Prevost-type levels of heat and light. Please make sure you’re getting a steady supply of the necessary fuel.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meet the "new sheriff" of Montana's luxury life

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

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The May issue of ForbesLife profiles James Manley, CEO of Atlantic-Pacific Capital and the proprietor of the 6,600-acre Ranch at Rock Creek near Philipsburg.

Manley took 20 years to find the perfect spot for a dream getaway and has turned it into a veritable playground. Reports the magazine:

The place is part high-end dude ranch, part hunting and fishing preserve, and part roll-back-the-decades play camp for grown-ups, with surprise touches like a bowling alley and paintball. (“You put a paintball gun in a 40-year-old man’s hand,” notes Manley, “and he becomes a teenager.”)

And it's "working." So far, Manley's ranch has attracted the likes of LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood and Vince Vaughn.

How much for a night? A room in the lodge will run you $1,900 (fully inclusive). A cabin can get to $2,600 and a log home as much as $7,000 a night.

Manley purchased the property for $25 million and says it costs $1 million a year to run. But he's not done working on it. He tells Forbes: “There will always be something, and I won’t get the money back in my lifetime, anyway. I have a diamond I’m gonna polish.”

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The Rockies Today, May 22

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Colorado Supreme Court nixes Wyoming company's pipeline plan
On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the state's Legislature did not intend to treat oil and gas pipelines the same way that railroads and utilities are treated to clear the way for rail and transmission lines, and rejected a Wyoming company's stance that it had the power to force landowners to give an easement for an gas pipeline.
Casper Star-Tribune; May 19

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Monday, May 21, 2012

The Rockies Today, May 21

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Bentonite boom floods BLM with requests for Wyoming, Montana leases
Bentonite is known as the "clay of 1,000 uses," and is widely used in the energy and auto industries, and as the U.S. economy improves, demand for bentonite—and Bureau of Land Management leases on the federal land on which it is located, has skyrocketed.
Billings Gazette; May 21

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Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM

This week's installment, Britain's immigration crackdown has led to a culinary crisis.

Curses, Foiled Again
Chicago police charged Raymond Jefferson, 20, with robbing a Radio Shack of $17,000 worth of merchandise after they tracked him using global positioning equipment that was among the stolen items. (Chicago Tribune)

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Big Oil's wish list, in charts

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Between the historic Bakken boom and the never-ending Keystone XL pipeline debate, Montanans hear a lot about the promise and potential of the oil industry. But how do those two projects, both of which directly affect our state, fit into Big Oil's grand scheme?

Brad Plumer provides some perspective. He breaks down the American Petroleum Institute's report of recommendations to the Republican and Democratic committees currently crafting their party platforms. Plumer describes this report as "Big Oil’s wish list," and it includes the Bakken and Keystone, as well as off-shore drilling and overall production. It also includes a boatload of charts, which make all of the data a little easier to digest.

So, what's the upshot? The plan contends that if API gets what it wants from legislators, "the United States could eliminate oil imports from everywhere but Canada by around 2030." And here's what that would look like:

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Read Plumer's full post at The Washington Post's The Fix for more charts and analysis. You'll also find a bonus chart from the Center for American Progress, a group that has already put together a rebuttal to API's wish list.

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The Rockies Today, May 18

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

NPR series explores effects of hydraulic fracturing
This past week, NPR broadcast a series of brodcasts on hydraulic fracturing, that looked at the effects of the rapid increase of the drilling method, that included a piece from Colorado's Garfield County called "Close Encounters."
NPR.org; May 18

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scientists ask cyclists to count roadkill

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM

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Oh, this seems perfect for a gold-level bike town like Missoula!

Wired reports that Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation is asking folks to document roadkill for a new global database intended to help avoid future animal-car collisions. Those best positioned to provide the data are commuters, including cyclists.

From Wired:

“The tens of thousands of people that are outside every day can now be mobilized to do more with their time, to be citizen scientists,” said Gregg Treinish, who founded and directs the non-profit group.

So far, the most extensive roadkill-counting projects have been the California Roadkill Observation System and a similar project in Maine. Fraser Shilling, the University of California-Davis ecologist behind these networks, will add the global data from cycling citizen scientists to his roadkill research.

“I think that cyclists and the pedestrian world have this weird connection to roadkill because of the risk we’re always facing,” said Shilling.

I know I've always felt a connection to roadkill, but usually on the morning after a late night downtown. Anyway, learn more from Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation and get documenting.

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The Rockies Today, May 17

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Alberta-based Enbridg launches $3.2B pipeline-expansion campaign
Enbridge, Inc., the company that exports the bulk of Canada's oil, will spend $2.6 billion of its proposed $3.2-billion expansion to expand pipeline capacity to increase flow on refineries in the United States and Quebec.
Calgary Herald; May 17

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Josh Vanek's 10 reasons to go see The Blind Shake tonight

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

The Blind Shake is nothing but stomping, garage-rock fun, if memory serves from their stints in Missoula before. The Minneapolis trio melds shimmy-shake rock with thrashy outbursts and sludgy intercessions. Their latest album, the 2011 Seriousness, is a carnival fun house: trippy, unnerving and amusing. Should you dance your brains out or go out and cause a riot? Either one will do.

Tonight's show is worth the energy to get down to Zoo City Apparel, 139 E. Main, at 8 PM. $5. All ages.

Music promoter, Total Fest founder, Wantage USA label owner and all-around music geek, Josh Vanek, just sent me 10 reasons why you should check them out. Some of those reasons include the other bands playing: Needlecraft, Magpies, Javier Ryan and the Monster With 21 Faces. So, I give you...the Vanek Report:

Ten reasons to go see the Blind Shake
by Josh Vanek

10) The Blind Shake's latest album Seriousness, released last by Learning Curve shows an already great band taking their stuff a step further: getting weirder, writing more austere riffs and making less sense lyrically. Odd endorsement? Maybe, but listen to their records in succession sometime. It’s the sound of musical ideas taking form and turning into a unique voice. What’s all that add up to? Dunno, but it’s such solidly great, creeping rock and roll and folks like Poison Ivy, Link Wray and somebody younger—like uh, I don’t know, Duane Denison, maybe—all get nods.

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9) The Blind Shake are power trio. Like, you know, the Minutemen, the Experience, Blue Cheer, James Gang, Motörhead. Sometimes three is better than four.

8) Needlecraft is playing the show. Unfamiliar with Mikki Lunda’s and Hana Montana’s new band? It’s nutsily catchy, ‘60s pop. Jangly, melodic and fun as shit. I always think of Sasshole’s sense of humor when I see them.

7) Loud, aggressive, but not macho. Talking about the Blind Shake here. In a music world of men making clutching symbols to the heavens and dropping their drop Ds even lower and their Marshalls even 11er, the Blind Shake just come off as kind of dorkily serious (with Members Only jackets with duct tape Masonic symbols), super well-rehearsed band with a fresh set of ideas, great stage presence and cheaply priced records. Dane Hansen thinks they’re straight edge because of the Bic’d heads. I’m pretty sure they’re not.

6) The Monster With 21 Faces is playing. This is Bryan Ramirez, P.J. Rogalski and Holt Bodish’s new group. Kind of a power-psych vibe. I saw ‘em at Modality’s VFW residency and they ruled. Covered 13th Floor Elevators too.

5) Brothers. (Blind Shake again) Speaking from experience, being a brother isn’t always an easy deal. Consider being in a band with a dude who shares what, half your DNA? Or more right?

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