Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fatal Sasquatch stunt, animated

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Randy Lee Tenley, 44, of Kalispell, died Sunday night after being struck by two cars on Highway 93. According to the Associated Press, Tenley was dressed in a full “ghillie” suit and was trying to "provoke reports of a Bigfoot sighting in northwest Montana." The Daily Inter Lake adds alcohol may have been a factor, but investigators are awaiting test results.


Naturally, this strange incident got the attention of NMA's animation specialists. This is the Taiwanese company that previously produced videos of a Missoula runner fending off the world's largest black bear (at least that's how the video shows it) and a Missoula author drinking champagne in a cave with a man who quit money (or something; it's the weirdest).

Below you can see their latest creation for the Bigfoot hoax gone wrong, complete with Harry and the Hendersons references.

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The Rockies Today, Aug. 28

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Fast-moving wildfire burns its way from Idaho into Montana
The Mustang Complex wildfire burned across tens of thousands of acres over the weekend in Idaho's Salmon-Challis National Forest into the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana.
Ravalli Republic; Aug. 28

USFS officials in Colorado crack down on ATV, snowmobile rental companies
Three national forests in Colorado are among the six most-frequently visited in the nation, and federal land managers said a sharp increase in the number of companies that rent and deliver mountain bikes, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles to trailheads for customers forced them to order two companies to stop delivering ATVs and snowmobiles at the Vail Pass summit parking area.
Denver Post; Aug. 28

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Anti-Obama doc, produced by Montanan, gains traction

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

By now you've probably heard about the new documentary called 2016: Obama's America. It's produced by Kalispell Republican Gerald "Jerry" Molen, whose previous credits include Schindler's List and Minority Report. The movie opened Friday in Missoula at the Village 6. Critics have called it everything from "crazy racist" to "not the hatchet job I thought it would be." A couple weeks ago, some were also calling it a flop.

Not so fast on that last one.

This past weekend, just before the start of the Republican convention, 2016 jumped from 169 theaters to 1,091 and ended up grossing $6.2 million. Entertainment Weekly puts those numbers in perspective:

2016 has earned $9.1 million after seven weekends, making it the highest grossing conservative documentary ever, above Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which grossed $7.7 million in 2008. While the film has already earned more than most documentaries could ever dream of earning (The Weinstein Company’s much-publicized doc Bully grossed $3.5 million), its gross doesn’t yet compare to Michael Moore’s liberal doc Fahrenheit 9/11, which grossed $119.2 million in 2004, George W. Bush’s re-election year. Keep in mind that film had a major studio (Lionsgate) and marketing campaign behind it, and it opened in 868 theaters. 2016 opened in one theater — in Houston — and had to rely on word-of-mouth and talk radio promotions before its national ad campaign kicked off two weeks ago.

2016 was made for $2.5 million and is distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures. While the expansion into more theaters hurt the film's per-theater average (dropping from $7,365 to $5,718), EW notes "it still notched the highest per-theater average in the Top 20."

Molen spoke in late June to the Glacier Country Pachyderm Club and called the upcoming election one that will be "heard around the world" and "for many generations," and said Obama was drawing the "blueprint for the end of America." The Flathead Beacon reported that he likened the country's current situation to "how European Jews failed to fully grasp the extent of the Nazis’ aggression until it was too late."

"They were asleep to the horrors around them,” the paper quoted him as saying.

You can see a trailer for the film below:

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The Rockies Today, Aug. 27

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Wyoming legislator proposes changes to bison-hunt regulations
The number of bison on the National Elk Refuge has grown far beyond the carrying capacity of the land, and Rep. Keith Gingery wants to make changes to Wyoming's hunting regulations to make it easier for hunters to kill cows, including changing permits from once-in-a-lifetime to an opportunity to hunt a cow bison once every five years and lowering the cost of a cow permit for nonresidents from $2,500 to $1,000.
Jackson Hole Daily; Aug. 27

Group petitions Idaho to allow use of weevils to control milfoil in lake
Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper filed a petition against the Idaho State Department of Agriculture to force a change in policy that will allow the use of biological agents to control noxious weeds, and in particular the use of weevils to combat Eurasian milfoil in Lake Pend Oreille.
Idaho Statesman (Bonner County Bee); Aug. 27

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Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM

This week, burning toilets and huffing Reddi-wip.

Curses, Foiled Again!
When a taxi arrived at its destination in Bowie, Md., the passenger demanded money from the driver, then “struck him in the head and then threw some kind of liquid on him,” Police Chief Chuck Nesky said. The passenger then ignited the liquid. As it caught fire, the driver escaped, but the passenger didn’t. Firefighters who extinguished the blaze found the would-be robber’s body in the back seat, burned beyond recognition. (The Washington Post)

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Human remains found in Bob Marshall believed to be Noah Pippin

Posted By on Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Authorities believe they've found the remains of Noah Pippin, an Iraq War veteran and former member of the Los Angeles Police Department who went missing in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in September 2010. News broke early today that a search crew of Lewis and Clark County sheriff's personnel and border patrol agents discovered human remains at the head of Burnt Creek, near the Chinese Wall, on Friday and that circumstantial evidence indicates they belong to Pippin. Pippin's parents, Mike and Rosalie, and his younger brother Caleb have been in Montana for about a week searching for leads and meeting with officials.

Noah Pippin, second from the left, with his parents and brother Caleb, shortly before he departed Michigan for Montana in 2010.
  • Courtesy Mike and Rosalie Pippin
  • Noah Pippin, second in from the left, with his parents and brother Josiah, shortly before he departed Michigan for Montana in 2010.
According to the Associated Press in Kalispell, "authorities haven't confirmed the identity of the remains yet, but Mike and Rosalie Pippin said there is a strong likelihood they belong to their son." There's no clear indication at this time how the person died. It could be weeks before officials confirm the identity of the remains.

Pippin went missing after a visit to his family's home in Lake Ann, Michigan, in late summer 2010. He was due back in California for training with a National Guard unit, but never showed up. After repeated inquiries with law enforcement, his parents discovered that Pippin had driven his rental car to the Kalispell area, then proceeded on foot along Hungry Horse Reservoir and into the Bob. Several groups encountered Pippin on his trek over the Continental Divide Trail. The last, a family from Great Falls, said Pippin had intended to leave the trail and bushwhack along the Chinese Wall south to White River Pass. The mystery of his disappearance and his parents' unending resolve to find their son were the subject of an Indy cover story and, later, an episode of the Discovery Channel program "Disappeared" this spring.

Pippin was described as a quiet, reserved man with a deep interest in philosophy. He saw action during the Iraq War, and was injured during his third and final tour when an SUV blew up next to his Humvee in Fallujah. Observers on the trail during his Montana trek said Pippin seemed ill-prepared for such a long journey. He took little more than a poncho, a plastic water jug, a day pack and a .38 pistol. Pippin was 30 when he went missing.

A search crew last fall failed to uncover any clues as to Pippin's whereabouts before inclement weather set in. They did, however, manage to rescue a diabetic man whose insulin pump had malfunctioned. The man, it turned out, was also from Michigan.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Fond farewell

Posted on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

After some 12 years working on-and-off as the Indy Photo Editor Chad Harder has chosen to move on from his tiny basement office here. Chad has a long and distinguished history at the paper and Montana Headwall magazine, where he also served as photo editor.

He's got a little Captain in him. - MATT GIBSON

He's been through a lot for us. In 2000, Missoula police used pepper spray on him while he documented the downtown riot spawned by the Hell's Angels' visit. In 2009, he nearly lost his right hand while on assignment for Headwall. Since then, he's made a remarkable recovery.

For those of you who have enjoyed Chad's work over the years, we've assembled a slideshow featuring, in Chad's words, some "fairly random images over the last three and a half years." Thanks, Chad.

The Rockies Today, Aug. 24

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Romney promises to give states lead on mining, drilling on federal lands
At a rally in New Mexico on Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney laid out details of his energy plan that includes speedy approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and giving states control of oil, gas and coal resources on federal lands.
New York Times; Aug. 24

Montana city's deal with Canadian company could mean 300 new jobs
At a meeting Thursday, Brett Doney, president of the Great Falls Development Authority, announced that a Canadian company plans to build a plant north of the Montana city that will employ 300 workers, but Doney could not provide additional information as the publicly traded company must still get shareholder approval for the project.
Great Falls Tribune; Aug. 24

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

MINERVA launches University of Montana into other worlds

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Blue Mountain Observatory
It’s about 10:30 on the night of Fri., Aug. 17, and Nate McCrady is standing next to the Blue Mountain Observatory, perched at about 6,300 feet southwest of Missoula. McCrady, a professor in the University of Montana’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, trains his laser pointer at stars and constellations in the clear night sky and explains things to the several up-lookers circled around him, such as that a star called Iota Draconis, 100 light-years away in the dragon-shaped constellation Draco, has a Jupiter-like gassy planet orbiting it. It’s an exoplanet, a planet that orbits a star outside our solar system.

Other sky gazers are here at one of the summer’s occasional observing nights atop Blue Mountain, inside UM’s ’70s-era domed observatory, glimpsing Saturn and its rings and multi-billion-year-old, 500,000-star globular clusters. Meanwhile, McCrady wants to talk about the exoplanets Blue Mountain’s telescope can’t see. UM, led by McCrady, is embarking on a new project called MINERVA, a partnership between UM, California Institute of Technology and Penn State University that will search for small, rocky, Earth-like exoplanets that just might support life.

Through MINERVA, UM will have its own robotic telescope on Palomar Mountain, in Southern California, one of four telescopes in MINERVA’s array, putting the school, which has no graduate degree program in astronomy, at the forefront of the search for other life in this galaxy.

“It’s a game-changer for our department,” says McCrady, a tall, excitable, boyish-looking professor who gets goosebumps when talking—and he talks a lot—about MINERVA. (He also chokes up over the recent Mars rover landing.) “It catapults UM astronomy into the cutting-edge,” he says, “the frontline of research in exoplanets.”

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 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): Do you know what a controlled burn is? Firefighters start small, manageable fires on purpose so as to eradicate brush that has accumulated too close to wooded areas. With less fuel around, bigger fires are not as likely to ignite accidentally and turn into conflagrations. I encourage you to use this as a metaphor for your own life, Aries. How? First, identify a big potential problem that may be looming on the horizon. Then, in the coming weeks, get rid of all the small messes that might tend to feed that big problem. Make sure it’ll never happen.

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