sacramento connect http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com sacramento blogs & community news around sacramento california Thu, 03 Sep 2015 01:50:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.8 Fishing with a drone http://j.mp/1PMDTF7 http://j.mp/1PMDTF7#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 01:50:15 +0000 http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/?p=75820 ]]> http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/2015/09/02/fishing-with-a-drone/feed/ 0 Limits to use of solitary confinement must be catalyst for sweeping change in prisons, says Amnesty International http://j.mp/1LVXSU2 http://j.mp/1LVXSU2#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 00:51:54 +0000 http://yubanet.com/california/Limits-to-use-of-solitary-confinement-must-be-catalyst-for-sweeping-change-in-prisons-says-Amnesty-International.php
“The significance of this reform in California cannot be overstated, as no other US state is believed to have held so many prisoners for such long periods in indefinite isolation,” said Jasmine Heiss, senior campaigner for Amnesty International USA.

“This should not be an isolated victory. California’s step forward should be a catalyst for sweeping change in prisons across the country. Now is the time to ensure that no human being is condemned to spend decades in a cage, whether they are in California, Louisiana, or Colorado.”

“This momentous victory comes after years of struggle and organizing by the people most directly impacted by the prolonged nightmare of solitary confinement – isolated prisoners and their families. It is testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of devastating cruelty.”

In 2012, Amnesty International released a report detailing conditions in California’s isolated Security Housing Units, which found that the punishment endured by prisoners amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, in violation of international law.

Last year, Amnesty International released a report on the severity of conditions that prisoners face in the federal super-maximum security facility, the United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum (ADX) near Florence, Colorado. As in the California report, the ADX report explored the physical and psychological impact of confining inmates to solitary cells for 22-24 hours a day. The severe conditions in ADX have led to some prisoners practicing extreme self-harm or committing suicide.

Symptoms resulting from being held in isolation for extended periods include anxiety, depression, insomnia, hypertension, extreme paranoia, perceptual distortions and psychosis.

Read more: Entombed: Life in the USA’s cruel isolation chambers (Feature, 04 October 2014)]]>
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Video: Northern CA Weather in a Flash: El Nino 2015-2016 http://j.mp/1Uo1Nh6 http://j.mp/1Uo1Nh6#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 00:24:29 +0000 http://yubanet.com/regional/Video-Northern-CA-Weather-in-a-Flash-El-Nino-2015-2016.php http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/2015/09/02/video-northern-ca-weather-in-a-flash-el-nino-2015-2016/feed/ 0 Wordless Wednesday: Crazy Crab’z Sandwich from AT&T Park http://j.mp/1Uo1QJA http://j.mp/1Uo1QJA#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 22:45:55 +0000 http://sacfoodies.com/?p=18560 http://sacfoodies.com/2015/09/wordless-wednesday-crazy-crabz-sandwich/feed/ 0 Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance shuts down http://j.mp/1OamCp2 http://j.mp/1OamCp2#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 21:28:25 +0000 http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/?p=75801 Continue reading ]]> http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/2015/09/02/sacramento-regional-technology-alliance-shuts-down/feed/ 0 Locals supporting family that was racially targeted at campground http://j.mp/1OamAgS http://j.mp/1OamAgS#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 21:10:07 +0000 http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/?p=75787 Continue reading ]]> http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/2015/09/02/locals-supporting-family-that-was-racially-targeted-at-campground/feed/ 0 38.56789 -121.468849 Happy Hour at Bottle & Barlow http://j.mp/1JNnMqL http://j.mp/1JNnMqL#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 20:00:00 +0000 http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/?guid=89d2da88799ddae2d103e189db90dfd6 http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/2015/09/02/happy-hour-at-bottle-barlow/feed/ 0 Sac Open Studios 2015 Launch Party http://j.mp/1OamKVs http://j.mp/1OamKVs#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 19:31:00 +0000 http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/?guid=71f6ee4b39b533fc49230d301c9b580d http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/2015/09/02/sac-open-studios-2015-launch-party/feed/ 0 Op-Ed | Deborah Kerr-Jones: Measure V lost, and so will everyone in the district http://j.mp/1LVcJOJ http://j.mp/1LVcJOJ#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 19:06:34 +0000 http://yubanet.com/regional/Op-Ed-Deborah-Kerr-Jones-Measure-V-lost-and-so-will-everyone-in-the-district.php
We are now going to be forced to lay off 6 firefighters (they will lose their jobs) and close a fire house. This is for 90 square miles of curvy country roads out here plus our section of high accidents on Hwy 49 which can tie up many personnel, as I know from experience, as one of the victims of a head-on. I was never so happy when our firefighters came immediately and helped me as I could not move. AND, they were from Higgins!

With all of the horrific wildfires this year and our firefighters sadly dying in the line of duty...these people do not care about their community, firefighters or neighbors.

You love them when they come to save you or your property but evidently do not care enough to keep your area staffed for your own protection.

This will put our firefighters in more danger here also.

So my blessings to the people who tore down my signs on our property and threw them into our field every time we put them back up. To me that just shows the degree of your maturity level and to understand what you think you have accomplished.

This is not about you personally winning what you see as a battle, it’s about the safety of your families, friends and neighbors. You are going after the wrong people to save on your taxes. Try the criminal politicians and corporations.

Look at the bigger picture and don't punish the people that you are first to call if your life or property are in danger. I wish they didn't have to come when you call but they are dedicated men and women who care.

And remember...The Tea Party was started by the Koch Brothers who would just as soon step on you like an ant than give you a helping hand while they make more and more money and their followers pay attention to small community matters instead of going after the real criminals and threats to your way of life. Choose your battles wisely...do not stab yourselves in the back.

Our neighbors are losing their fire insurance and will pay higher insurance premiums now...much more than the $12.00 a month they would have paid to keep their firefighters. And, do not think this cannot happen to you as we live in a highly dangerous fire area.

If any of you feel the need to "un-friend" me after this feel free to. Ignorance is not bliss in the long run and your manipulated philosophy has just hurt a lot of people and their families. Just remember, what you have always taken for granted just might not be there when you need it most.]]>
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HIV Drug Appears to Prevent Infection Even in High-Risk Settings http://j.mp/1LVeQC2 http://j.mp/1LVeQC2#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 18:52:48 +0000 http://www.healthycal.org/?p=18199 http://www.healthycal.org/hiv-drug-appears-to-prevent-infection-even-in-high-risk-settings/feed/ 0 Forest thinning resumes on South Shore of Lake Tahoe http://j.mp/1LVcKC0 http://j.mp/1LVcKC0#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 18:51:31 +0000 http://yubanet.com/regional/Forest-thinning-resumes-on-South-Shore-of-Lake-Tahoe.php http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/2015/09/02/forest-thinning-resumes-on-south-shore-of-lake-tahoe/feed/ 0 To email or not to email? For those in love, it’s better than leaving a voice message http://j.mp/1Ksvysm http://j.mp/1Ksvysm#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 18:28:09 +0000 http://yubanet.com/scitech/To-email-or-not-to-email-For-those-in-love-it-s-better-than-leaving-a-voice-message.php http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/2015/09/02/to-email-or-not-to-email-for-those-in-love-its-better-than-leaving-a-voice-message/feed/ 0 Missing Hiker in Yosemite National Park Found Deceased http://j.mp/1LVcL9b http://j.mp/1LVcL9b#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 18:26:45 +0000 http://yubanet.com/regional/Missing-Hiker-in-Yosemite-National-Park-Found-Deceased.php http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/2015/09/02/missing-hiker-in-yosemite-national-park-found-deceased/feed/ 0 The new breed of legal “ambulance chasers” http://j.mp/1OamDct http://j.mp/1OamDct#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 18:22:58 +0000 http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/?p=75766 Continue reading ]]> http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/2015/09/02/the-new-breed-of-legal-ambulance-chasers/feed/ 0 Hot, dry and human-caused http://j.mp/1hUyiCo http://j.mp/1hUyiCo#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 17:39:20 +0000 http://yubanet.com/california/Hot-dry-and-human-caused.php UCI15_anthro-drought_horz_750x539.jpg
Among the factors contributing to anthropogenic, or human-caused, drought are increased population, industry and agriculture – all of which deplete groundwater reserves faster than they can be replenished. Jennie Brewton / UCISeptember 2, 2015 - California’s current extreme drought must be a lesson for managing water in a warmer, more densely populated world, say UCI and fellow drought experts writing in the journal Nature. Civil & environmental engineer Amir AghaKouchak, political scientist David Feldman and ecology & evolutionary biologist Travis Huxman call for greater recognition of the role of humans in causing and exacerbating water scarcity, which they dub “anthropogenic drought.”

The Golden State has a long history of successfully managing droughts. But strategies from the past century are now obsolete, they assert. The current drought, which began in 2012, is a harbinger of what’s to come. Engineering our way around periodic water shortages will no longer work in a hotter, drier world with ceaseless human demands on water supplies.

Our ever-increasing thirst for water coupled with poor management, aging infrastructure and worsening climate change is a recipe not just for wells run dry, but for ravaged forests, extinct wildlife and more droughts. Targeted research and public policies that move beyond a crisis response mentality are critically needed, the experts conclude.

Here are a few thoughts from the UCI authors:

What are some of the main points of the essay?

AghaKouchak: Elements of California’s current drought are archetypes of an anthropogenic drought that most of the world will grow into in coming decades, due to continuously increasing human water demands. While climate change impacts are real, anthropogenic drought should be recognized as an imminent challenge.

Feldman, director of the Water UCI initiative: As our climate likely changes and as cycles of drought continue with perhaps greater frequency, the “new normal” will require better and more consistently managing water demands and more widely introducing technologies and practices that encourage reuse and conservation of precious water supplies.

Huxman: The risk to society of ever-growing human demand for water combined with climate warming affects both ecosystems and goods and services provided by California’s landscapes. This compels us to thoughtfully prioritize how much water we should invest in “natural capital” versus other areas of use. The current approach is threatening the resilience of our landscapes.

You say a key element in managing future water supplies is investing in drought monitoring and prediction. Who could be helped by the ability to better predict droughts?

AghaKouchak: Accurate seasonal and yearly drought prediction remains the grand challenge for the science community. Scientists have also focused more on drought prediction over large spatial scales and paid little attention to localized conditions and impacts. Drought is often very local, and conditions for one water user may not equate to a shortage for a user elsewhere. Improperly managing demand can have substantial local effects, such as reduced crop production or rapid depletion of wells. The science community should focus on drought prediction systems that can address local and regional water management issues, in close collaboration with decision-makers.

You write that over 12 million trees have died statewide during the current drought, with cascading impacts on amphibians, birds and mammals. Key streams and wetlands, including hatcheries of steelhead trout and chinook salmon, are going dry. What needs to be done to protect our forests, fish and other wildlife?

Huxman: We’ve known for a long time that water diversion for human use – drinking water, power generation and farming – has come at the expense of biological diversity. What we’re trying to communicate is that the “response to crisis” approach has led to a lack of prioritization associated with decisions about the environment.

We’re letting crises decide for society what’s important about nature, rather than having the hard discussions about what society actually values in its surroundings. We’re letting low water flows impact species in one drought, then entering the next drought constrained by the impact of the last dry spell on those species. This pattern will lead to more and more impacts on biological diversity. While the focus on drought is in the public’s and decision-makers’ minds, we need to have those critical discussions about what we value in nature.

What are examples of good policy and poor policy related to the current California drought?

Feldman and Huxman: As we write in the article, the current drought has already led to the state’s most significant water initiative in half a century. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 tasks local agencies with assessing conditions in basins and developing local water management, allocation and adaptation plans. This is a major breakthrough for sustaining groundwater, but full implementation is expected to take decades..

In July, by contrast, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that, if it becomes law, will offer some drought relief to California farmers and growers at the cost of protecting endangered fish. The legislation would take more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and from rivers. Such dramatic policy responses may have irreversible impacts, such as the extinction of native fish. It’s unlikely to be made law, though.

Feldman: Other good policy examples are encouraging conservation first – such as allowing consumers to compare their behavior and water use to their peers’ on bills. This is starting to yield dividends, as attested by reductions in urban water use statewide.

Bad policy is anything that assumes we can continue to divert water from places that have it to places that want it. This will only engender disputes and ill will.

Other authors are Martin Hoerling of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and Jay Lund of UC Davis. The article is an outgrowth of an April conference on drought policy convened by UCI and the American Geophysical Union.
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Accident in construction zone leaves two severely injured http://j.mp/1LVcOBZ http://j.mp/1LVcOBZ#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 17:37:13 +0000 http://yubanet.com/regional/Accident-in-construction-zone-leaves-two-severely-injured.php http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/2015/09/02/accident-in-construction-zone-leaves-two-severely-injured/feed/ 0 New Elevation for Nation’s Highest Peak http://j.mp/1Ksvxog http://j.mp/1Ksvxog#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 17:17:13 +0000 http://yubanet.com/scitech/New-Elevation-for-Nation-s-Highest-Peak.php 6.jpg
The lower section of a one-meter range pole was driven into the snow about a half-meter north of the summit point. Using one section of the metal snow probe and a torpedo level, the top of the range pole was leveled with the summit point. The second range pole was then driven into the snow 2.5 meters away from the summit range pole and away from the trail. This second setup gave redundancy to the survey and its off-trail location reduced the risk of tampering. The second range pole was leveled with the first using the tank antenna and a level (Photo: Blaine Horner, CompassData)September 2, 2015 - A new, official height for Denali has been measured at 20,310 feet, just 10 feet less than the previous elevation of 20,320 feet which was established using 1950’s era technology.

With this slightly lower elevation, has the tallest mountain in North America shrunk? No, but advances in technology to better measure the elevation at the surface of the Earth have resulted in a more accurate summit height of Alaska’s natural treasure.

“No place draws more public attention to its exact elevation than the highest peak of a continent. Knowing the height of Denali is precisely 20,310 feet has important value to earth scientists, geographers, airplane pilots, mountaineers and the general public. It is inspiring to think we can measure this magnificent peak with such accuracy," said Suzette Kimball, USGS acting director. "This is a feeling everyone can share, whether you happen to be an armchair explorer or an experienced mountain climber.”

Denali National Park where the mountain is located, was established in 1917 and annually sees more than 500,000 visitors to the six million acres that now make up the park and preserve. About 1,200 mountaineers attempt to summit the mountain each year; typically about half are successful.

"Park rangers have been excited to work with and learn from their USGS colleagues using the latest technology to determine Denali's height,” said Denali NP Superintendent Don Striker. “Climbers and other visitors will be fascinated by this process, and I hope our future park rangers see from this firsthand example how a background in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and staying physically active in the outdoors can enable them to do some of America's coolest jobs.”

To establish a more accurate summit height, the USGS partnered with NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS), Dewberry, CompassData, (a subcontractor to Dewberry) and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, to conduct a precise Global Positioning System (GPS) measurement of a specific point at the mountain’s peak.

A previous 2013 Denali survey was called into question with an elevation measurement of 20,237 feet. That survey was done by an airborne radar measurement collected using an Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (ifsar) sensor. Ifsar is an extremely effective tool for collecting map data in challenging areas such as Alaska, but it does not provide precise spot or point elevations, especially in very steep terrain.

The climbing team of GPS experts and mountaineers reached the Denali summit in mid-June. Since then, they have been processing, analyzing, and evaluating the raw data to arrive at the final number of 20, 310 feet. Unique circumstances and variables such as the depth of the snowpack and establishing the appropriate surface that coincides with mean sea level had to be taken into account before the new apex elevation could be determined.

5_1.jpg
Leaving the 17,000 foot camp for the final leg, crossing the “Autobahn”. Climbers perform what is called a running belay. The first climber clips the rope into a carabineer attached to the picket and second climber removes the rope from this carabineer. This prevents the team from a fall off the Autobahn and down onto the St. Peters Glacier (an often fatal fall). This traverse poses an additional danger due to temperature. Facing north, and located between 17,000 and 18,400 feet, it is extremely cold in the morning. This presents a logistical dilemma as teams want to get started as early as possible anticipating a long summit day, but they also don’t want to expose themselves to the cold temperatures first thing in the morning. (Photo: Blaine Horner, CompassData)
Revised Denali Elevation Announced

This is a good week for the people of Alaska. Just days after Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell announced that Mount McKinley would be renamed to officially carry its Native Alaskan name of Denali, the USGS and partners are announcing the updated height for the mountain’s peak has been set at 20,310 feet. The previous accepted elevation, established using 1950’s era technology was 20,320 feet.

Has the tallest mountain in North America shrunk? No, but advances in technology to measure and calculate precise elevations have resulted in a more accurate summit height of Alaska’s most magnificent natural treasure.

Denali remains the highest mountain in North America, the third highest mountain in the world, and is one of the world’s renowned “Seven Summits”. Denali National Park, where the mountain is located, was established in 1917 and annually sees more than 500,000 visitors to the 6 million acres that now make up the park and preserve. About 1,200 mountaineers attempt to summit the mountain each year; typically about half are successful.

Why Re-Survey Denali?

Surveyors, mappers, geodesists and other scientists, as well as climbers and mountaineers from around the world have long had a curiosity to know the official elevation of Denali.

“No place draws more public attention to its exact elevation than the highest peak of a continent. Knowing the height of Denali is precisely 20,310 feet has important value to earth scientists, geographers, airplane pilots, mountaineers and the general public. It is inspiring to think we can measure this magnificent peak with such accuracy,” said Suzette Kimball, USGS acting director. “This is a feeling everyone can share, whether you happen to be an armchair explorer or an experienced mountain climber.”

Researchers wanted to establish a baseline for future investigations of whether the mountain itself and/or its ice and snow pack changed significantly over time. This new survey measured the top of the snow and by using a snow probe determined the snowpack to be about 13.6 feet deep.

In 2013, the then-current summit elevation of 20,320 feet was called into question when a report was released stating an updated estimate of 20,237 feet near the summit. This newer number was collected from airborne radar using an Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (ifsar) sensor. Ifsar is an extremely effective tool for collecting map data in challenging areas such as Alaska, but it does not provide precise spot or point elevations, especially in very steep terrain. This measurement was part of a larger project to collect revised elevation for the entire state under a national initiative called the 3-Dimensional Elevation Program, or 3DEP.

Formation of a Survey Party

The USGS, along with NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS), and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), were the primary partners supporting the physical assessment. Surveying technology and processes have significantly improved since the last survey and the ability to establish a much more accurate height now exists, so the climbers used Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment on the Denali apex.

The survey party was led by CompassData, a subcontractor for Dewberry, under contract to the USGS. The team consisted of four experienced climber/scientists – one from UAF and three from CompassData.

“The USGS is proud to be part of this remarkable accomplishment along with our partners,” said Kevin Gallagher, USGS Associate Director for Core Science Systems. “Creating more accurate elevation data across the nation is the goal of our 3-Dimensional Elevation Program. Having an accurate elevation for North America’s highest peak is consistent with that goal.”

Trek to the Top

For being one of the coldest places on earth, Denali can also be quite warm on the lower mountain. To take advantage of a narrow window for “good weather” on Denali, the team began their precarious trek to the summit in mid-June, with scientific instruments in tow. The team consolidated the appropriate food, clothing, shelter, survival gear and scientific equipment in the Anchorage area. On June 15, the group of four took the 40 minute flight from the Talkeetna Airport near the entrance of Denali National Park onto the Kahiltna Glacier to begin their ascent.

The Lower Kahiltna has massive crevasses with the potential for lethal falls. The best way for the team to mitigate this hazard was to cross the glacier during peak freezing, typically between 11:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. The move to the first camp on June 16 took the team about six hours and covered roughly seven miles.

On June 24th, two of the climbers from CompassData left their camp at 14,000 feet at about 6:30 a.m. Their packs were kept light, carrying only water and other necessities. Most equipment had already been cached at 17,000 feet, including a summit snow probe and all other summit survey gear. Survey equipment, including a Trimble Net-R9 and R10, was assembled and powered on. A primary concern was that the high-tech equipment might not power-on in the cold temperatures, so in order to avoid this, each piece had been wrapped in closed cell foam to provide insulation. Efforts paid off and neither experienced any technical difficulty.

The area immediately above 17,000 feet is statistically the most dangerous part of the climb. The “Autobahn”, as it is known, is an upward trending traverse across a 3,500 foot face finishing at Denali Pass. The survey team was pleased that Denali National Park staff had established a thorough network of pickets and runners at 30- meter intervals across the traverse to allow climbers to perform what is called a running belay.

The Summit Survey

The summit team arrived at the top of North America’s highest peak around 3:15 p.m. on June 24. Their first task was to identify the true summit. A small diamond of snow was prominent near the south-face cliff edge and was identified as the highest point of the mountain. A range pole was driven into the snow near the true summit, leveled with the summit, and GPS equipment was installed and powered on.

The team of two returned to 14,000 feet following the summit survey. The equipment was left collecting until the following day when a team from Mountain Trip guiding service removed the receivers. Two days later the CompassData team returned to the summit and removed all remaining equipment.

The entire team safely descended the mountain and arrived at base camp at 7:00 a.m., June 29th. A flight to Talkeetna was arranged and the team flew off the Kahiltna Glacier later that day.

Processing the Data and Determining the New Elevation

To ensure the most accurate elevation number, specialists from CompassData, the University of Alaska Fairbanks and NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey all independently processed the survey data. Once they had preliminary results, a meeting was held to compare those calculations. All findings were very consistent and remaining questions focused on how to express the new height. Ultimately, an agreement was reached in terms of the reference surface to be used and the rationale for using the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88) as the vertical datum.

“The NGS is pleased to have worked with such outstanding scientists and come to an agreeable solution on a project of this magnitude,” said Dr. Vicki Childers, chief of NOAA’s NGS Observation and Analysis Division. “The NGS established the new elevation with respect to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88).”

NAVD 88 is the official vertical datum for Alaska in the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), a system that is defined and maintained by NGS to provide a consistent coordinate system across the entire United States. A new effort underway at NGS to modernize the NSRS by 2022 will incorporate an improved model of where the average sea level, or ‘zero’ elevation, is located; this will result in elevation values being more accurate with respect to mean sea level.”

Final Results – A Difference of 10 Feet Says A Lot

The final elevation number is remarkably close, within 10 feet, of the previous official elevation number. This is a testament to the skills and determination of the early surveyors and mountaineers who, with considerably less sophisticated equipment, calculated an elevation that stood the test of time. It’s only now, with major advances in GPS technologies, that a more precise elevation could be calculated.

The similarity between the new number and previous surveys validates notions that the summit snowpack remains nearly constant year to year. And finally, it answers the ultimate question by establishing a revised official elevation of 20,310 feet for the top of Denali.
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Stanford scholar discovers previously unknown Magna Carta scribe http://j.mp/1OamANP http://j.mp/1OamANP#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 17:02:01 +0000 http://yubanet.com/life/Stanford-scholar-discovers-previously-unknown-Magna-Carta-scribe.php magna_release.jpg
Photo illustration by L.A. CiceroSeptember 2, 2015 - Eight hundred years ago, one of the world's most important documents was born. Issued by King John of England in 1215, the Magna Carta ("Great Charter") acknowledged the rights of citizens and set restrictions on the power of the king. The Magna Carta has influenced the structures of modern democracies, including the writ of habeas corpus of the U.S. Constitution.

Thanks to meticulous comparative handwriting analysis, Stanford literary scholar Elaine Treharne has uncovered new information about who wrote one of the last four surviving original versions of the 1215 Magna Carta, preserved at England's Salisbury Cathedral.

Scholars have long thought that the Magna Carta was issued by the king in the Chancery, the king's central court, written by his scribes there and then sent out to other locations in the shires, or counties, of England.

According to Treharne, her research suggests the Salisbury Magna Carta was not just received and preserved at Salisbury, but that the Salisbury Magna Carta was written at Salisbury by one of the cathedral's own scribes. She recently co-published her findings with University of Glasgow historian Andrew Prescott.

Treharne, a professor of English at Stanford, says that knowing about this difference in authorship "changes the way we think about the transmission of texts in the Middle Ages from the court."

Instead of the charter being something passive that the king produced and sent out from the central court to be put away in satellite locations, Treharne says versions of the charter "were written in the regions and then taken to the court for sealing by the king's Great Seal."

This reconfiguration of the Magna Carta's path signals "a much more proactive relationship between institutions and king," the scholar says. "It makes us look again at the role of the church in relationship to the king. They become much more partners, really, in the production of texts."

Painstaking work

Treharne made the unexpected discovery while working on a larger project profiling the rich archive of Salisbury Cathedral. She was analyzing texts in a book that belonged to Salisbury in about 1215 or 1220 when she noticed "that a couple of the scribes' work in that book looked very similar to that of the Magna Carta scribe."

In particular, she noted similarities in the handwriting of the Salisbury Magna Carta and a document called the Register of St. Osmund, which contains regulations, charters, writs and other documents pertaining to the cathedral.

Through her work on the Salisbury archive and other long-term projects such as Stanford's initiative Text Technologies, Treharne pursues her fascination with the history of documents and the development of texts and handwriting from the Middle Ages to today's digital texts.

The archive at Salisbury has not been digitized, so Treharne has been traveling there from Stanford for several years to examine the documents firsthand.

The scholar says she first noticed similarities between the Register of St. Osmund and the Salisbury Magna Carta through her overall visual impression of the manuscripts. Then, she says, came the most painstaking part of the process: the "accumulation of proof" through a meticulous, letter-by-letter handwriting comparison.

"You would truly begin with an 'a,' and look at the 'a,' and the way that it was formed with a pen, and then move to the 'a' of the other document and look at the 'a' there."

Treharne proceeded to do the same for the whole alphabet in lower case and upper case. She says she then examined the punctuation, abbreviation, "the angle of the pen and the number of strokes for each character. So it's really incredibly painstaking work."

Treharne explains that just like our handwriting is particular to each of us, medieval scribes wrote particular letters in ways that were "absolutely specific" to each scribe.

In the case of the Magna Carta and Register of St. Osmund, she has identified at least four "remarkable letter-forms," including a particularly noteworthy 'g' with a "looped tail," that point to the handwriting of one person – a Salisbury scribe.

The importance of access

Treharne's work is a testament to how sometimes big discoveries can come unexpectedly from the pull of scholarly curiosity and from nurturing a fertile field of research.

"I didn't set out to find anything out – I just thought it was quite interesting to look at the hand of the Magna Carta scribe," she said. "But it struck me really forcefully when I first saw this Register of St. Osmund. When I opened it I thought, goodness, that really looks like the Magna Carta scribe."

Treharne emphasizes that discoveries like these highlight the importance of both preservation and access. Her work on the Magna Carta is now part of the larger book she has been writing, Collective Memories in Salisbury Cathedral Library and Archive, 1200-1800.

The scholar says the history of the Salisbury archive is "an incredible story of collecting and preserving and producing, and actually protecting."

For example, Treharne says, "When the Reformation came they had a public book burning and a lot of the Salisbury books appeared to have been lost. But somehow they managed to save stuff that they should've had to get rid of."

Treharne says this project shows the benefits of collaboration. She has been working with Prescott, who focuses on the historical aspects of the findings, and other scholars in the UK. Their findings are additionally confirmed by different evidence from research being done on the Magna Carta by historians David Carpenter (King's College London) and Nicholas Vincent (University of East Anglia).

Treharne says the findings also show the value of keeping an open mind in scholarship. "Although we think we know so much about history, we know so much about people of the past, we know so much about our institutions, all the time scholars and interested citizens are making amazing discoveries."
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State Cloud Vendor Forum Set for Sept. 21 http://j.mp/1hUvTaZ http://j.mp/1hUvTaZ#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:43:30 +0000 https://www.techwire.net/?p=28711 https://www.techwire.net/state-cloud-vendor-forum-set-for-sept-21/feed/ 0 AG to Announce Open Data Initiative Today http://j.mp/1hUvUM4 http://j.mp/1hUvUM4#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:37:08 +0000 https://www.techwire.net/?p=28727 https://www.techwire.net/ag-to-announce-open-data-initiative-today/feed/ 0 Fall-like temperatures into Saturday, warming up Sunday and Labor Day http://j.mp/1LVcPpy http://j.mp/1LVcPpy#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:32:59 +0000 http://yubanet.com/regional/Fall-like-temperatures-into-Saturday-warming-up-Sunday-and-Labor-Day.php http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/2015/09/02/fall-like-temperatures-into-saturday-warming-up-sunday-and-labor-day/feed/ 0 …..perhaps another perfect crop http://j.mp/1L66emj http://j.mp/1L66emj#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:16:00 +0000 http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/?guid=b21118f4309b95ef45f2a666950800fa http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/2015/09/02/perhaps-another-perfect-crop/feed/ 0 IFB: Instructor Lead Microsoft Office Training http://j.mp/1hUvWmW http://j.mp/1hUvWmW#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:03:15 +0000 https://www.techwire.net/?p=28708 https://www.techwire.net/ifb-instructor-lead-microsoft-office-training/feed/ 0 Family racially targeted at area campground http://j.mp/1OamDsZ http://j.mp/1OamDsZ#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:44:10 +0000 http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/?p=75754 Continue reading ]]> http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/2015/09/02/family-racially-targeted-at-area-campground/feed/ 0 State Email Contract Extended for Two Years http://j.mp/1hUvWn2 http://j.mp/1hUvWn2#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:43:27 +0000 https://www.techwire.net/?p=28704 https://www.techwire.net/state-email-contract-extended-for-2-years/feed/ 0 Dangerous Drift http://j.mp/1hUvQfe http://j.mp/1hUvQfe#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:15:58 +0000 http://www.healthycal.org/?p=17955 By Lily Dayton

In the predawn hours of Oct. 3, 2012, two farm labor crews arrived at fields southeast of Salinas to harvest lettuce. A light breeze blew from the north across rows of head lettuce and romaine. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the workers started to smell an acrid odor that some described as paint, others as cilantro seeds or diesel fumes. The workers’ eyes began to burn and water; many complained of nausea, headache, dizziness and shortness of breath. No pesticides were being sprayed at the time, but still, the workers were displaying classic symptoms of pesticide illness.

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Community, Farmers Split on Pesticide Regulation http://j.mp/1hUvQvG http://j.mp/1hUvQvG#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:14:40 +0000 http://www.healthycal.org/?p=17953 By Lily Dayton

More than 35,000 Monterey County schoolchildren will attend schools near fields treated with high levels of potentially dangerous pesticides—including chemicals that are known to harm the brain and nervous system, cause genetic mutations and disrupt hormonal regulation.

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Worth it? Zenni Optical http://j.mp/1NNyujP http://j.mp/1NNyujP#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:00:29 +0000 http://www.girlsonthegrid.com/?p=20308 read more]]> http://www.girlsonthegrid.com/worth-it-zenni-optical/feed/ 0 Sacramento International Airport Signs Agreement to Allow Uber to Serve Travelers http://j.mp/1hUvVPW http://j.mp/1hUvVPW#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 13:30:02 +0000 https://www.techwire.net/?p=28726 https://www.techwire.net/sacramento-international-airport-signs-agreement-to-allow-uber-to-serve-travelers/feed/ 0 Cloud-focused Nextbit Smartphone Launches on Kickstarter http://j.mp/1hUvWU4 http://j.mp/1hUvWU4#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 13:25:55 +0000 https://www.techwire.net/?p=28716 https://www.techwire.net/cloud-focused-nextbit-smartphone-launches-on-kickstarter/feed/ 0 Commentary: Council’s Move Allows Us to Engage in Further Discussion http://j.mp/1Xgdsxg http://j.mp/1Xgdsxg#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 13:21:01 +0000 http://www.davisvanguard.org/?p=52830 Last night the Davis City Council voted to grant an extension to the comment period for the Mace Ranch Innovation Center EIR. While their stated purpose is to allow the public to review the massive 4000 page environment review documents associated with the project, the effect will be most likely to push off the vote […]

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Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA) is Folding http://j.mp/1hUvZiD http://j.mp/1hUvZiD#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 13:18:22 +0000 https://www.techwire.net/?p=28713 https://www.techwire.net/sacramento-regional-technology-alliance-sarta-is-folding/feed/ 0 Brownie S’mores http://j.mp/1KIza88 http://j.mp/1KIza88#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 12:56:58 +0000 http://sweetbakedlife.com/?p=4691 Continue reading ]]> http://sweetbakedlife.com/2015/09/02/brownie-smores/feed/ 0 After Mace Developer Agrees to Extension, Council Supports It Unanimously http://j.mp/1XgdqWf http://j.mp/1XgdqWf#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 12:43:58 +0000 http://www.davisvanguard.org/?p=52828 It started Tuesday afternoon, as developer Dan Ramos emailed a letter to council stating, “Over the course of the last week, several members of the public have requested an extension of time in which to review and comment on the draft environmental impact report for the Mace Ranch Innovation Center.” Mr. Ramos continued, “Recognizing that […]

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Breast Enhancing Cream With Coconut Oil http://j.mp/1hUvO76 http://j.mp/1hUvO76#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 12:35:22 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=10559 Hybrid Rasta Mama

You remember that little post I wrote about herbs that do wonders for breasts? Well that post went wild which sort of surprised me. I wasn’t sure if it would be well received or a total turn off. Luckily you all gave it a big thumbs up! Today I am sharing a couple of coconut […]

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Analysis: Is there a Ferguson Effect? http://j.mp/1XgdwNA http://j.mp/1XgdwNA#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 11:45:25 +0000 http://www.davisvanguard.org/?p=52832 Yesterday, the New York Times ran a story showing a rise in homicides in some cities. As we noted yesterday, there is a push-back in Texas against shootings of police officers. There is a belief by some that the protesters of Ferguson and the media coverage against officer involved shootings is playing a crucial role […]

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Apple Pie Pancake Rolls http://j.mp/1NN5Tev http://j.mp/1NN5Tev#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 10:00:00 +0000 http://www.crazyforcrust.com/?p=12934 Happy Wednesday!! I’m here with a special recipe because, well, Wednesday night is breakfast for dinner night. That means you need Apple Pie Pancake Rolls for dinner TONIGHT! Honestly, until I made these pancakes for Krusteaz, I had no idea that Wednesday was breakfast for dinner night. But now that I do know? It’s on. […]

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Volleyball dominates CSU Bakersfield 3-1 in home opener http://j.mp/1OamA0u http://j.mp/1OamA0u#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 05:30:00 +0000 http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/?guid=9d0c223f8658680831e2f6c75a27caf3 Sacramento State volleyball (3-1) dominated CSU Bakersfield (0-4) in the Hornets’ home opener Tuesday night, winning 3-1 (22-25, 25-13, 25-8, 25-16).


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Dining News: Carpaccio at Localis ‘Flirted With Best-Thing-I-Ever-Tasted Status’ http://j.mp/1JLxkTl http://j.mp/1JLxkTl#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 05:28:04 +0000 http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/?guid=81b8098d5bea71d2969721625d06c389 http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/2015/09/01/dining-news-carpaccio-at-localis-flirted-with-best-thing-i-ever-tasted-status/feed/ 0 Charges dropped against woman accused of killing husband http://j.mp/1OamGVK http://j.mp/1OamGVK#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 03:44:00 +0000 http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/?guid=b057b00fc828b97f2da469c15a578764 http://sacramentoconnect.sacbee.com/2015/09/01/charges-dropped-against-woman-accused-of-killing-husband/feed/ 0